The Meaning That Disappeared (Kwahm Mai Mee Hai Bpai) 

I love this song by Nat Sadaktorn…. 

ลมหายใจ เคยมีความหมาย เพราะเธอ

Lom hai jai koey mee kwahm mai pror tur

My breath once had meaning because of you

ยิ้มของเธอ เคยเป็นเหตุผล ให้ฉันลืมตา

Yim kaung tur koey bpen het pon hai chun leum dtah

Your smile used to be the reason I opened my eyes
(*) แต่ว่าวันนี้ ตอนนี้ ความว่างเปล่ากำลังเคลื่อนไหว

Dtae wah wun nee dtaun nee kwahm wahng bplao gumlung kleuan wai

But today, now, empiness is moving in

ความอ้างว้าง เข้ามาปกคลุมหัวใจ

Kwahm ahng wahng kao mah bpok kloom hua jai

The loneliness enters and covers my heart
(**) คิดถึงทุกๆ สิ่ง คิดถึงทุกๆ อย่าง

Kit teung took took sing kit teung took took yahng

I miss everything, I miss everything

ความรักที่เลยผ่าน ความหมายที่หายไป

Kwahm ruk tee loey pahn kwahm mai tee hai bpai

The love that passed me by, the meaning that disappeared

คิดถึงทุกสัมผัส คิดถึงเวลากอด

Kit teung took sumput kit teung welah gaut

I miss every touch, I miss when we hugged

เมื่อฉันไม่มีเธอ ตรงนี้ ไม่รู้จะอยู่เพื่อใคร

Meua chun mai mee tur dtrong nee mai roo ja yoo peua krai

When I’m without you right now, I don’t know who I’ll live for


Yahk lup dtah laeo hai bpai

I want to close my eyes and disappear
ห้องของเรา เคยมีความฝัน สวยงาม

Haung kaung rao koey mee kwahm fun suay ngahm

Our room used to have beautiful dreams

รักของเธอ ยังคงเก็บไว้ ตรงที่เดิม

Ruk kaung tur yung kong gep wai dtrong tee derm

Our love is still kept in the same place
ลมหายใจ เคยมีความหมาย…เคยมีความหมาย

Lom hai jai koey mee kwahm mai koey mee kwahm mai

My breathe used to be meaningful, it used to be meaningful

Cafe Hopper @ Rice (稲禾)by 云门舞集 (Cloud Gate)

I was contemplating whether to use Mandarin for this post or English. Eventually I decided to use English for the post. I set out this year to watch at least one art performance per month for the year 2015. Why? I needed to find inspiration for my poetry writing and hopefully I will be able to publish a poetry collection by the end of the year. Ok, yes, I am working very slowly but I hope I will be able to accomplish this by this year. Let’s keep my finger cross. Rice is my third show for the year and contrary to the general impression of abstractness of this dance group, I find it easier to comprehend than the previous show I watched. The dance piece began with a beautifully crafted and coordinated earth colours from the dancers’ attire. I personally have a soft spot for earth colours. Unlike most dance pieces which has to dance alongside with music, this one began in the absence of musical piece. It began with the rhythm of earth or 大地的心跳. Each thump on the dancers’ feet awakens the heart of our soul…it awakens our senses and invoke our spirit to listen and to feel the life of this earth or 大地的生命. I quietly listened…I silently pondered.

I love the section on Pollen 1 and 2 the most. In these two sections, the dancers wished to express the pollination of crops, birthing forth life in the rice field. The dance portray a couple, from the surface, they seem like they are making love in the paid field…but I seriously think that’s what the choreographer wishes to portray. Making love or having sex is our human way of pollination. Similarly, crops pollinate and birth forth life…birth forth new hope and dreams in the process. However, this life is not complete without the nurturing of the sunlight and the nutrients from the ground or from nature. 生命是要用大自然的灌溉才能萌芽的! So very often, we are caught up with the modern and post-modern crisis of human existence that we forgot that at the most basic, we are mere sons and daughters of nature or 大自然之子女。I love this portrayal of pollination and the birthing of life.

After the great harvest, the land needs renewal. However, often, renewal comes only after a baptism of fire. The farmers would burn down the harvested land and the land will go through a period of purging and cleansing by fire. Thus, don’t despise the fire and don’t shun away from the burning. It is often necessary and essential for the land of our heart or 心田 to be renewed and revived. The dance piece ended with the return of water to the land and once more the cycle of life wheeling and re-wheeling.

I am not a dancer and thus I will not be able to say too much about the technicality of the dance piece but I do feel that the dancers have successfully brought out the essence of what the choreographer wishes to convey to the audience and its easy to know where the dance piece is leading us to.

Oh…just in case you thought that the blog has evolved into an art blog…no…no…no…its still a cafe blog…Art and Coffee are another pair of perfect partners…..

The Gatekeeper


Cafe Hopper @ 红楼梦 What is Sex? directed by 林奕华 Edward Lam

I would like to quote from the programme booklet, “This is not a theatre that gives you an account of the plot of Dream of the Red Chamber or 红楼梦. It consists of dreams by the characters in the story, as well as the dreams of modern man. These dreams date from Cao Xueqin’s time to 2015, perhaps even into the foreseeable future.” What Edward Lam attempts to portrait are the dreams that were dreamed about by the characters of Dream of the Red Chamber and he continue to see these dreams being dreamed about by modern man today. The dream to be loved and to love, the dream of materialism and secularism, the dream of what is real and what is unreal. What do we all have dream? We have dreams because there is always that deep void within us and this void longs to to be and be. There is this existential twist in Edward Lam’s interpretation of the Chinese classic. When we see the Others, we very often see our dreams fulfilled in them. Thus, in this case in Scene 2, we have a clash between Wang Xifeng and Ping-er. However, what Edward Lam wants to express is the lack in both characters and how they see each of their lack being fulfilled in each other. So is it Ping-er who dreams of Wanf Xifeng or Wang Xifeng who dreams of Ping-er?

There is also a scene, Scene 3 (Mayhem in School), that talks about our dream of an ideal education system. In the story, the Jia family set up their own school to educate the people whom they deemed suit for education. Eventually, in the drama, the whole education system crumbled into pieces and resulting in an education system that produces people who are materialistic and extremely pragmatic. Such is a tragic of our modern society. Our education is doing more harm to our mind than to build it up. We have developed a system of education that centers so much about self and we have lost touch of communal values.

So throughout the show, Edwards Lam uses the various key scenes from the Red Chamber to depict various aspects of human issues and crisis. The 大观园 is certainly not a place to find solution. It is a place where we see a reflection of ourselves and what is real. Very often, we what deem as real is unreal and simply a visage. Thus, through the interaction between the various characters, the subconscious mind of each individuals emerged and surfaced as a cruel reality they have to face. For instant, Scene 15, where You Sanjie fell in love with Liu Xianglian despite the improbability of a requited love. “In the end, Liu Xianglian is nothing but a mirage, and Sanjie’s suicide after the return of the betrothal gifts becomes a rude awakening.”

The fact of the matter is that there are many of such characters similar to those in the story in our lives. They are real and they exist among us…they stand helpless, confused, despaired, lost and certainly living in bad faith. They are so filled with angst of the reality of living. Thus, to many, their dreams remained unfulfilled and their dreams remain as dreams. There’s so much to say about Edward Lam’s depiction of the Chinese classics and and his attempt to answer the question of what is sex or to be precise what life is? Sex to Edward is not sexual. Sex is an integral part of life and thus to relook at sex is to relook at our life. The modern men and those in the characters of Red Chamber, focus too much on sexual rather than sex. Sexual is passive passion with no love. However, sex is the genuine demands for love.

If you have missed this interesting interpretation of  Red Chamber, I am sure you will have the chance to do it. To me, the depiction of each character has become a reflection of apart of myself. As an audience, I can see a little part of my dream and aspiration in each of the characters depicted. Its reflective and meditative.

Oh yah…I got a prosperity bag watching the show! Happy Chinese New Year to all my readers!





The Gatekeeper

Cafe Hopper at Braddell Heights Symphony Orchestra

It was a full house performance! It’s awesome and magnificent. I love it when at the beginning Adrain Tan, the music director, brought down the formality of classical music for the general audience, making it closer to everyone.

The symphony itself brought the audience into the deepest and darkest corner of human struggles, manifesting for the listeners the reality of human suffering and turmoil. It’s like a journey… A journey into our deepest self. Then at the third part of the symphony, it was like spring emerging after the cold and dark winter. You can literally feel the sun beam penetrating through the cold and life returning to the pasture.

The piece reaches its climax at the fourth part and the final part, when the symphony broke through into singing, deliberating joy and hope to humanity. Just when you thought that is all, the singing and the music proceed on to a joy and pleasure so heavenly and so divine…ending with an expression and explosion of elation so unexplainable!

Marvellous presentation of Beethoven 9th Symphony by the Braddell Height Symphony Orchestra or BHSO. At the end,.it received from the audience a standing ovation of almost 10 mins!

AWESOME! This is truly an anthem for all humanity! A hymn of freedom and joy unspeakable! #sg50

The Gatekeeper




Cafe Hopper Review: Pacamara Boutique Coffee Roastry @ Upper Thomson

This is a new cafe on the block. They took over a corner unit near the former Long House Hawker Center! It was previously Liquid Kitchen and now turned into a boutique cafe! Interior decor is simple but impressive! It’s white in general and even the coffee machine is white in colour. I love the spaciousness of the cafe and cafe goers have enough space to chat with their friends or even sitting alone looking out to the traffic along Upper Thomson road.

I ordered the shrimp and asparagus ragout roll from the menu and was pretty impressed by the creativeness of the breakfast set! The taste was alright and of course you can’t compare them with big western cuisine restaurant! I also ordered the 7oz latte and turned out that the latte is smooth and doesn’t leave behind a after taste. And I was enjoying all of these with a jazzy groove in the background as music!

The overall experience is great and considering that it is only their soft opening! They have not officially open yet and will be soon! You don’t see any cakes in their display shelves for now! A new cafe with lots of potential for growth and development! Just hope that the rent doesn’t kill off creativity and the means to survive!





Cafe Hopper Review: Common Man Coffee Roaster @ Martin Road

A good friend has requested me to write about lousy cafe in Singapore! I told him that as much as every school is a good school, every cafe is a good cafe! I guess it’s about who you are with at the cafe and the total experience you had at a particular space and time! So, it is not my intention as a cafe hopper to pin down any cafe …. Every cafe has it’s uniqueness and every cafe is the heart and sweat of the cafe owner or owners. With that in mind, let me share my experience at Common Man Coffee Roaster.

As you approach the cafe you will notice that it has a very club like door! Well, I didn’t really quite like the door, cos it doesn’t give me the feel of a cafe at all! In fact I was rather disappointed! When you enter into the space, well, you feel an energy that automatically liven you up! The music…the lighting…the staff and etc! However I just feel that the overall decor and the cafe theme do not match well! I like the long table right at the center of the cafe and a big round table! There is a lot of counter bar seats available…. And certainly more style to be seen there! However, the brightly lighted counter … I just find it quite a miss match! Perhaps it’s just me!

I ordered the carrot cake and a glass of orange ginger juice! The concoction is refreshing and the carrot cake is nice and pretty unique in shape and size! My overall experience in this cafe is rather average …. And I certainly won’t travel all the way to visit this cafe! Directly on top of the cafe is an Argentina restaurant… That sort of interests me… But I didn’t walk in this round!

The Gatekeeper




Cafe Hopper: Its all about love…爱情这一回事!

I am back. I am writing on my blog again. I have not log in for a good two to three months and I realised quite a number have posted on my blog. Thanks to all who left a few lines here…really appreciate that. I have to write a few lines of English so that my English speaking audience know where I have been these few months. I have been very busy with my new job and I must say that I am really enjoying my new job. Since I have been busy, I have not really been cafe hopping…how can that be right?? As a cafe hopper I should be hopping around cafes right. I will! I have not forgotten my mission of hunting down the many hidden cafes in Singapore and of course, Thailand as well. Many things have happened since I returned from Thailand and I must say that I really thank God for all that He has done. Let me settle down as soon as possible and I will continue to fill the pages of my blog with lots of exciting stories.

从泰国回来后,我常常在听一些怀旧的老歌。其实那些歌曲也没有那么老!从中我也领悟到很多关于爱情这一回事!从 “领悟”到 “剪爱”,在从这两首歌到 “至少还有你” 我都有许许多多的感触!有苦过也哭过,有开心过也遗憾过。这种种的情绪上的过山车都让我明白了许多事,并且让我学着更坚强也更对生命有不同的见解。从前我以为张开双手我撑得住未来,现在我明白了,人生往往有许多事不是你说了算的。很多时后,我们伤的很深是因为我们还没有学会放下和解放!爱情可以是一件很沉重的事,它也可以是一件飘入毛羽的竟界。有些人可以对爱情轰轰烈烈,而有些人却不敢靠近它。爱情可真是矛盾的一件事。现在我只能说得是,我很想去好好的爱一回。我很想轰轰烈烈的去爱。这可能会到至很深的伤,可是 “谁不是用伤口交换未来” 呢?我知道这听起来很放纵,就让我难得糊涂一次吧。

the gatekeeper

Cafe Hopper Review: Viking Cafe@Kandahar Street

Viking cafe was an unexpected find for me at Kandahar Street. It happen to be along the same street as Maison Ikkoku Cafe. As I was leaving from Maison Ikkoku, and I walked down the lane, I bummed into the Viking. For a while I was trying to figure out what kind of place is Viking. Only after a while of observation then I realised that it was a cafe. My friend and I entered the cafe and it has a very strong street art look, with graffiti on the walls and some paintings by local artists. There is also a little platform with some music equipments. The furnitures are pretty raw and they are very streets style as well.

We sat down after our tiring walk and was deciding what we should order from them. They seem famous for their burgers and they make their own meat patty as well. I decided to go for their cheesy burger and my friend ordered their original burger. When the food arrived, they certainly look very wholesome and very attractive. I must say that the burgers did impressed the both of. For a cafe that was opened 6 months ago, in August, the quality of food served is pretty nice and tasty. However, the coffee is rather ordinary. I ordered their latte and it didn’t really taste as nice as I would expect it.

I was at first pretty puzzled about what kind of feel I should get from this cafe. I couldn’t figure out how I should feel when I looked at their decor and paintings. I decided to ask the staff what’s behind the thought of the cafe decor. Only then I realised that one of their aims is to support local artists and providing them a platform to express their arts. In fact, just last week, they had a poetry recital in the cafe itself. I find this idea very interesting but it is not coming forth very strong when I was there. Perhaps, I need to be there when there is a performance or something in order to feel it.

For a cafe which only started 6 months ago, I think they will need to take some time to put in more thoughts into the cafe. If local performing art scene is their niche, I certainly hope that will really emerge forth more prominently in the cafe. Viking…press on…there is certainly a place for you in the local cafe scene.

The gatekeeper




I am sure this is familiar for most of us guys. "Knock it down!" There is another song in the army which somtimes still rings in my mind….
"Today is my book out day….du lah du lah!
     Today is my book out day…du lah du lah deh!
  No more SOC no more IFC…
       No more sergeant F**KING me…
  Du lah du lah deh…"
The good old GREEN days…..
Did we really become MAN…or just man……yes sir! no sir!
Maybe it’s not the uniform….maybe it’s not the rifle….maybe it’s not the heavy boots….
What did we lose? What did we gain?
Oh Singapore Oh Singapore…our Island we adore….adore? or abhor?
Count on me Singapore…Count on me Singapore….Count on my 7% GST…
Whatever it is….
We Love Singapore!
the gaterkeeper 07