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Right now I'm in Brno, in the Czech Republic, doing a summer course at Masaryk University. It's pretty cool, and things have been good so far, other than the fact that I can't understand Czech and have become an expert at pointing and gesturing, a sort of made up universal sign language. Of course it goes without saying that the course I'm taking is in English.

The course also includes awesome field trips to other countries and cities in the region, and I just came back from Vienna two days ago. We're going to Wroclaw and Auschwitz at the end of this week, followed by Prague (can't wait for that one) and finally Budapest.

So, expect more photos in the weeks to come, and for friends back home, I'll be back on 25 June :)
For this year's Christmas/winter break, I'll be heading down south to Ann Arbor, Michigan and then to New York City. :D I'll be in Michigan from 17 - 23 Dec, and in NYC from 23 Dec - 3 Jan.

Currently I have absolutely no plan regarding Ann Arbor, and as for NYC, the only things that I'm sure I'm going to do would be:

Go to the top of Rockefeller Center
Visit Adorama in person
Visit the Apple Store
Take a walk through Central Park (hopefully it snows!)
And of course, take a lot of photos

Anyone have anything else to suggest?

Brooklyn Bridge (anyone knows where to get a good view of this?)
Wall Street
Grand Central Terminal
Times Square
Empire State Building
NY Public Library
Ground Zero
United Nations
Statue of Liberty
Will be leaving Singapore for London on the night of my 20th birthday - and will be spending just over a month in England. A couple of days in London, and the rest in Oxford (doing a summer programme there). After which, I will head back to Toronto to continue my studies.

Kind of excited, I have always wanted to explore England on my own without the obligations of family or a group. Flights and accommodation are booked, but my days are still unplanned. If anyone's got any must-see or must-do things or locations in London, Oxford, or their vicinities, do let me know!
I ordered the new 13 inch MacBook Pro with a 4GB RAM upgrade on Thursday night, and it was delivered to my house yesterday.

MacBook Pro!

It's awesome.
Owning a DSLR and a Macbook does not make you a good photographer by default.
I won the photo essay category at my university's 87th annual photography competition/ exhibition, under the Hart House Camera Club.

Quite happy about that win and another honourable mention, for Memoria In Aeterna… but I would definitely say that the judging process which I was present at was rather, interesting. A lot of what happens in competitions that have no specific right or wrong, good or bad, depends on the judges. Their style, thoughts, and even personality play a big part in determining who and what wins. This year there was a serious dearth of landscape images, in favour of conceptual pieces. It's the opposite of what happened last year.

Still, I'm quite thankful that they liked my piece. The 8 photos that I used for the essay are below.

Against Adversity 13 Against Adversity 08 Against Adversity 15 Against Adversity 10 Against Adversity 12 Against Adversity 05 Against Adversity 16 Against Adversity 03
  • Listening to: Dreams - The Cranberries
  • Eating: Tim Hortons
Happy belated New Year's greetings.

Another year, and unfortunately I have school on 5 Jan.

Time passes really fast, and I think that perhaps I never appreciate the present enough.
I put a jug of boiling hot water at the open window an hour or so ago, and when I went to retrieve it, it had frozen into ice. Awesome.

I realise that my definition of 'warm' has sunk to new lows. Now I consider anything on the positive side of zero degrees to be 'warm'. And I think that 5 degrees above zero is 'hot', because I can't bear to wear my big coat out when it's that temperature.

Today it snowed again, and for some reason it was incredibly cold, with the windchill putting the temperature at 21 degrees below zero. I have no idea what the hell is wrong with the weather, because it's not supposed to be this cold at this time of the year. The 20 degree and 30 degree below zero temperatures are reserved for January and February.

Wish me luck when I get back to Singapore...
  • Watching: Modern Architecture Since 1900
I got a present two presents for myself, a 1970 Nikkor-H 85mm f/1.8 and a brand new SB-800.
  • Listening to: Always With You - Libera
  • Watching: Modern Architecture Since 1900
  • Drinking: Pepsi
My D300's warranty expires today. Damn. And its sensor is filthy, but Nikon Canada doesn't do reasonably-priced sensor cleanings, and they take more than a day to do it. Not to mention, they're not even in downtown Toronto, they're in Mississauga.
One year ago today I was stressing because my A levels had just started and I was rather convinced I wasn't going to do spectacularly. Today I can't believe that that was an entire year ago. I'm in another country 15 000km away, freezing, and scoring surprisingly well.

I think for me there are a lot of things I don't dare to imagine, because I feel it's too uncertain and too much of a change to warrant me even imagining that it might happen. Being here right now is one of them, and actually being the owner of a degree will be in 2.5 years' time.

Possibly the thing that I miss most about Singapore is the 24-hour availability of cheap food (that actually tastes good), and the fact that McDonalds 24-hour delivery exists. Over here there's neither, and in the unlikely event of actually successfully finding food, it tastes like crap. That annoys me greatly when I get hungry at midnight, because instant noodles can only satisfy someone for a limited number of times before it gets boring.

Things start relatively late and end very early here. On Sundays the public transport system wakes up late too, at 9am, which is way late. Dinner starts at 4.30pm, which explains my nighttime hunger pangs. The office in my college closes at 3pm. THREE. I'd like to work here, really.

I think I'll probably stay unless there is undue parental objections. The current plan is for 3 years after graduation, because that's the duration of the work visa for graudates of Candadian universities. And in the process, I get to claim back my exorbitant tuition fees via tax returns. After the 3 years, we'll see. A lot depends on what sort of jobs there are, whether Singapore has anything to offer me, and a whole host of other things. I don't really want to stay here forever, but for a while I don't really mind.
Yay! Nikon finally made AF-S primes a reality. It's about time.…
I'm about to leave for Changi Airport now. Flight leaves at 6am.

I'll see you all back in Singapore in May next year.
National Day makes Saturday feel like Sunday.

I wanted to shoot the fireworks because I felt patriotic I'm leaving Singapore in two weeks, and it'll be nice to have a nice view of Singapore for me to stare at in the middle of the cold Canadian winter.

Was lazy though, so I opted to shoot from my dad's office.

It's expiring tomorrow :(

:iconyoshimetal:YOSHIMETAL has very kindly bought me a one month sub! :w00t:

Thank you! :worship: :worship:

Some of his stuff:
A Paris Look II by YOSHIMETALDucks Lake by YOSHIMETALStairway to Heaven by YOSHIMETALD.A.R.K by YOSHIMETAL
To Oblivion and Beyond by YOSHIMETALGhost Town by YOSHIMETALThe leveling water by YOSHIMETAL
Do go check his gallery out: YOSHIMETAL

In other news, here are a bunch of deviations that I really like, all featuring trees.

ShadesOfGreen by AnaViegas One Tree Hill by utopic-man : : s n o w d r e a m : : by utopic-man 00 07 by siamesesam M i r r o r..O f..T r e e by lauriecphoto :thumb81170754: Cold Morning by YOSHIMETAL Shadows of Winter by John77 Get up stand up by Pecetta Dream for eternity HDR by ScorpionEntity :thumb81806263:

The University of Toronto, that is.

Still a little stunned at the moment, but wow.

If anyone knows anything about that place, do let me know!
SYPA by rh89

I'm terribly last minute. Submitting tomorrow evening.

...and other SYPA entries:

S Y P A by asianrabbit :thumb83665192:
SYPA 08 by metallilan :thumb84252957:
  • Listening to: Take Your Leave - David Curtis
I wonder if I'm subconsciously creating all these things and opportunities in Singapore as reason for me to stay, or if they're there as a sort of consolation to myself in case I don't get to go overseas. Or perhaps they're there to remind me of what I'm going to leave behind.


I went to the NUS open house yesterday. I could really see myself there in August, and maybe it will be better than I think it will be. Then again, I would really be annoyed at the fact that the opportunities overseas are all already there, just waiting for me to click on the 'accept' button.

Would you stay if you were given the chance to go?
  • Listening to: Secret - Josh Madine/Libera
It's tomorrow. TOMORROW. Oh no.

I don't dare to imagine what will be written on that bloody piece of paper.

I know a lot of people keep telling me I'm going to be fine and all, but here's the thing, I know I'm not. I messed up, and it's only a matter of how badly the rest of Singapore messed up in comparison.

Also, I have a lot more to lose here. Messing up my A Levels leaves me with the grand qualification of having passed the Primary School Leaving Examination.

So wish me luck, I'm going to need it. Even if it's just enough luck to get some sleep tonight.
  • Listening to: From a Distance - Jamie Shaw
It's the end of the year, and for the first time in 15 years, I have no school to look forward to next year. (I actually like school a lot, so this is disappointing for me, so much so that a couple of my schoolmates and I actually want to go back to school on 2nd January anyway just to see how things are going there.)

Well then. With that, the end of my time holding official 'student' status is drawing extremely near. That means, no more bus and MRT concession fares, and no more student mobile phone deals, and no more student meals at various eateries. My life is about to get a lot more expensive.

Anyway, asianrabbit wants me to list my photography-related inventory. So here it goes.

Casio EX-Z120 (the compact that's been my staple before I got the dSLR)
Nikon D300
Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 XR DiII SP

Pentax ME Super with SMC Pentax 50mm f/1.7
FED 5B with Industar 55mm f/2.8
Chaika III with Industar 28mm f/2.8
Zenit EM with Cosina MC Macro 28mm f/2.8
Very many rolls of Kodak Tri-X 400 in my freezer
A couple of pinhole cameras

Yeah that should be about it.
  • Listening to: John Brown's Body - Helmut Lotti
  • Drinking: Milo