November 05, 2001

apr - nov 2001

[020401] While waiting for e internal shuttle bus on e steps of e overhead bridge, spotted an abandoned bird nest in e tree above & black-naped orioles (why do my friends ALWAYS think of oreo cookies when I mention this?!) darting amongst e trees =) e last 'memorable' nest I spotted was back in Stanford, along Serra Street, with a bunch of noisy nestlings being fed by a parent.

[080901] finally got down to creating a link to one of my favourite sports. NO I do not play the game.... started watching matches back in 1995 during e World Cup (won by e Springboks) while doing A Maths homework & got hooked - far more gratifying to watch than soccer, which now seems sedentary by comparison.

[170901] Max Planck Society combines 2 of my loves - great Science (including entire institutes of e society devoted to 'esoteric' fields like 'Study of Societies', 'Collective Goods', Extraterrestrial Physics & Iron Research) + great Architecture (of some of e various institutes' facilities)


used to spend Saturday nights at a prawn farm on Pulau Ubin, but stopped going there when I was about 12. 10 years have passed but can still remember the boat rides through the mangroves of Ketam channel and the snakes and giant millipedes in the sea below the toilet (a small hut at the jetty with a large gap in the wooden floorboards). can't remember the exact location of e farm, but if you walked straight out, Yihua quarry would be to e left. on e right would be a giant quarry pool with conveyor belts that loaded rocks onto barges, a house surrounded by mangrove trees, and further on would be a bridge over Sungei Puaka. e house was a wooden one, not unlike e type that my maternal grandpa built in Yio Chu Kang, except tt it was much smaller. this place was e closest thing to e old kampung at Yio Chu Kang that I could find.

returned to Ubin after 7 years, this time for fieldwork (GE2220), studying hillslope erosion processes: rilling, gullying, earth movements, soil creep, slope angles, vegetation cover, drip tips, drainage etc. e roads are PAVED?! e Ubin of my childhood's gone =|

returned to Ubin again with mixed feelings. wanted to see Tanjung Chek Jawa with friends, but after 1998, would rather remember Ubin as it was in e '80s than shock myself further. glad I made e 300901 trip in e end. went there in e late afternoon, found plenty of e same plants that grew wild in e old kampung at Yio Chu Kang, plenty of cats, a few flattened ex-frogs & one ex-flying dragon (Draco volans, & caught a fat toad (Bufo sp.) while waiting for friends at e jetty. walked to house no. 1 in e moonlight & slept on e front porch while waiting for e 4am low tide (0.6m). we waded in barefoot & explored e chek jawa mudflats by torch - there were tonnes & tonnes of sea stars piled up on e sandbank, plenty of tiny fish & shrimp playing hide & seek with us in e seagrass, ball sea cucumbers, sponges, carpet anemones and crabs. enough to make me return again on 201001 & in Nov & Dec 2001 despite e mad rampage.

[ filed under: nature1 + 9_lives_2001 ]