summertime.

It’s that time of the year again. The jacaranda trees are in full bloom and the air smells like strawberries. People are more jovial, the sun is brighter and the days are long and hot. It’s summertime. It’s Christmas time. It’s a happy time.

The days taste like youth and salt air and I feel happy and nostalgic. I want to spend my days with my girlfriends, riding our bikes around the sunburnt bitumen streets, kissing boys at garden parties, wearing only strappy summer dresses, throwing back a Corona each with limes sitting in the neck, listening to The Veils under a starlit sky and floating in the tepid, salt ridden sea.

Yes, I want my summer to include all of these things and more. I’m greedy when it comes to summertime because it’s the best time of the year and I am a fool for it; every single warm summers day.

“In summer, the song sings itself.”

IMG_3771

finding a home.

I’ve found it really hard to find somewhere I am in love with since I left Hawaii. I haven’t felt like myself lately. I’m a little lost, trying to find my way through this big wide world. Sometimes my confusion can be mistaken for flakiness or an inability to commit to something. But it isn’t. I am just trying to find that place that makes my heart beat; a place where I feel alive. A place where I know I am meant to be. A little piece of home.

I’ve been traveling a lot lately and the road has always been a dear place to me. My eternal companion. Every place I have been in the last six months has touched my heart in different ways and all of them I wish to return to but I haven’t found that place that could make me stand still, until now.

I have found my sanctuary in the bustling streets of Hong Kong amongst the teeming crowds and neon lights. It gave me that feeling again – the constant inspiration, the rush, the feeling of being totally alive. Hong Kong has dazzled me. I thought I had to move back to the Gold Coast and settle down, find a job, finish my language classes and get an apartment and that maybe, it would feel like home again. But it hasn’t. I can’t make it. And things haven’t worked out the way that I planned. I like it here but I am not in love with it and although I like returning, I like leaving just as much.

So, as I stare out of my bedroom window in this little Australian coastal town, I see a billion stars making love to a night sky. And I see a new adventure on the horizon. One that has been brewed by the universe through my bloodline. Back to ‘the motherland’. And so in the new year, I will put on my walking shoes again and head out the the open road. Hong Kong, I am ready for a new adventure.

IMG_3584

amy <3

Some of my greatest inspiration comes from my friends. It is their quirks, epiphanies, insights and dreams that they turn into conversations, poems, notes, photos or post-it two liners that have encouraged me to do the same. That have taught me to embrace my own quirks, walk at my own pace and immortalize my own thoughts on paper or capture the beauty of something through my own lens. And sometimes, one can forget how amazingly individual our best friends are. I don’t know how we forget but I guess part of it is we get caught up in the daily grind or are too focused on what we see before us that we forget that some of our best friends are a million miles away and that once upon a time you shared banana smoothies and sunshine kisses every day. For some reason tonight, I remembered how incredibly quirky my friend Amy Stanley is. (it’s not that I have forgotten altogether it’s more that I’ve been so busy traveling and questioning my life right now etc) But tonight, I remembered how much fun we had together in the place where the flowers bloomed all year round. Hawaii was our own little sanctuary. And we would spend our days reading Nabakov and Bukowski and watching Miranda July movies in between long swims on humid days. Our nights were spent best with cocktails and dark beers in dingy bars in Chinatown. This sounds like some sort of love affair. But I guess it was. ha. I miss Amy and the quirky singles we were together. People say that youth is wasted on the young but this is not true for Amy and I. Everyday we spent together in Hawaii was chasing the dream of youth and fulfilling it every day. I stand by my convictions; everyone needs an amy in their life. See you soon, my friend 🙂

© amy stanley

© amy stanley

A love poem for Beijing.

IMG_3076

IMG_2917

IMG_2922

IMG_3044

IMG_3008

let me be free

yas

late nights in asia.

IMG_2357

IMG_2499

Awake at four
with the old brain beating
its fast tattoo –
I want, I want –
I think of love,
of the hot scramble
of limbs in darkness;

of the mind
pulsing its secrets
in metaphor;
of synapses firing
need, longing, love;
of the body
with its midnight hungers;

of the mind
caught between dream and waking;
wondering what it is,
self-creating always;

of God,
whatever she is
asking the questions;
Who are you anyway,
and how did you get here,
and what is the distance
between two stars,
between two brain cells,
between two lovers?

Here in the rosy
pink-ringed dark
all the birds
are sentient in their own way
as we –
on the verge
of wakefulness
and song.

~ Erica Jong

The streets of Hong Kong

F1210022

F1210016

F1210021

F1210027

Life & Debt

Life and Debt is one of the most essential documentaries of our time. Perfectly penned by kincaid, Stephanie Black has turned her words into a visual and important piece of film. Life and Debt deals with the problems of the IMF and the World Bank and the way they have used money in the form of loans to exploit  the nation of Jamaica. A documentary that addresses the issues of disparity, western domination, tourism as neo-colonialism, exploitation and post colonial leftovers. It is a documentary that will make your blood boil when you realize that there is such unfairness in the world whilst also making you laugh at the absurdity of it all. But it will probably make you cry when you realize that you are also a part of this system. Life and debt is by far one of my favourite documentaries and an essential informant into the unfair institutions of the IMF and world bank as well as the inequality between ‘developed countries’ and ‘developing nations’.

“Utilizing excerpts from the award-winning non-fiction text “A Small Place” by Jamaica Kincaid, Life & Debt is a woven tapestry of sequences focusing on the stories of individual Jamaicans whose strategies for survival and parameters of day-to-day existence are determined by the U.S. and other foreign economic agendas. By combining traditional documentary telling with a stylized narrative framework, the complexity of international lending, structural adjustment policies and free trade will be understood in the context of the day-to-day realities of the people whose lives they impact. he film opens with the arrival of vacationers to the island– utilizing Ms. Kincaids text as voice-over, we begin to understand the profound contrasts behind the breathtaking natural beauty of the island. The poetic urgency of Ms. Kincaids text lends a first-person understanding of the legacy of the country’s colonial past, and to it’s present day economic challenges. For example, as we see a montage of the vacationer in her hotel, voice-over: “When you sit down to eat your delicious meal, it’s better that you don’t know that most of what you are eating came off a ship from Miami. There is a world of something in this, but I can’t go into it right now.”

Picture 4

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
(c) 2017 Mel Tjoeng | powered by WordPress with Barecity | Theme Design by Nüde Creative