“You can see them, but you can’t reach them,
and so this commonplace urban phenomenon, available in any city of the world on any night, conveys to even the most social a tremor of loneliness, its uneasy combination of separation and exposure.”
-The Lonely City, Olivia Laing
“We are in this together, this accumulation of scars, this world of objects, this physical and temporary heaven that so often takes on the countenance of hell.
What matters is kindness; what matters is solidarity. What matters is staying alert, staying open, because if we know anything from what has gone before us, it is that the time for feeling will not last.”
-The Lonely City, Olivia Laing
Before we walked into a 5-star cuisine in Tokyo, to feast on a 9-course Fugu meal.
What is Fugu?
“Served in paper-thin slices by expert chefs, fugu combines luxury with a high-stakes gamble. The intestines, ovaries and liver of fugu (or blowfish) contain a poison called tetrodotoxin, which is 1,200 times deadlier than cyanide. The toxin is so potent that a lethal dose is smaller than the head of a pin, and a single fish has enough poison to kill 30 people. Because of the high risk, chefs must undergo two to three years of training to obtain a fugu-preparing license.” -TIME
…experiencing the finer things in life, new adventures particularly food, with people, great people!
“Why did you do all this for me?’ he asked. ‘I don’t deserve it. I’ve never done anything for you.’ ‘You have been my friend,’ replied Charlotte. ‘That in itself is a tremendous thing.” -E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web
Anne Frank is one of the millions of victims of the Nazi prosecution of the Jews during the second world war. In 1933, when Hitler comes to power and establishes an anti-Jewish regime, the Jewish Frank family went into hiding at 263 Prinsengracht in Amsterdam i.e. the ‘Anne Frank House’, also referred to as the Secret Annexe in Anne Frank’s diary.
“One day this terrible war will be over. The time will come when we’ll be people again and not just Jews!” This is an excerpt from Anne’s famous diary which is now one of the world’s best-selling books.
A visit to the Secret Annexe in Amsterdam was heartbreaking. I saw the depressing living conditions of the family in hiding – an extremely dark and narrow house; people in hiding have to stay indoors 24-7. The curtains are always drawn. And as described in Anne’s diary: “During the day our curtains can’t be opened, not even an inch.”
I started reading Anne Frank’s Diary after the visit, and I’m very inspired by her ability to express her thoughts so articulately through writing.
In the museum, there were exhibits depicting the harrowing faith of Jews under Hitler’s anti-Jewish regime. Photos are not allowed, and according to a sign, this is because the visit may be an emotional one for some visitors.
The queue to get in was almost 2 hours, and it’s all worth it.
Has it been a year? Some photos I casually snapped using Olympus (then), on a 2-day-1-night adventure with the white car we hired from Penang Airport, which faithfully brought us to the many amazing places.
I’m sure there are more photos, lying somewhere in my old Samsung phone. That night in the neighbourhood pub, more lights of this beautiful island, and all that food adventures…