Tuesday, November 24, 2015


I remember how much I liked this phrase when we first learnt it in Chinese class. Then in university I learnt the more technical term of cognitive dissonance. And 矛盾 grew larger to occupy permanent brain space. It has always been there as a part of me; I might just have been real comfortable in my own world with its safe goodness in community work and Christian friends.

It struck me today: Have I become someone so different? I'm not sure. This uncertainty is telling too.

I wish I could be stronger yet I wish it wouldn't have to be so hard.



Tuesday, November 3, 2015


Funny how one of the most defining ways I conceptualise myself was concretised by a question posed while I was waiting groggily for a flight in Beijing airport.

"Kang is like a cat. The sociable kind who seeks company but happy wandering alone too. Grounded by soul-refreshing relationships with God and friends, she is not afraid to do things (most of the time). 
Don't fully know what is inside (not fish) but Kang knows that she is Kang as cats know that they can just be cats and not dogs though people compare the two."

Now Cat is restless, seeking company. From a specific person. And it kinda sucks because at a deeper level that takes x 10000 more effort to summon, she knows that it is not him she seeks but something else. That temptation is almost too hard to bear. Almost.

"No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it." 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)

On a happier, caffeine-induced note, when Cat is engaged productively it is easier to ignore. Like just now, Cat was so free working on that sociology essay. So Cat is thinking about doing something bold again (partly because of this anyway).

"I travel to find myself"- truism? I think travel confronts man with himself.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

I Need

"If we ask God for greater wisdom and discernment, what should we expect to receive? A steady stream of mind-bending, confusing answers that are difficult to understand and work through because our powers of discernment are trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil (Hebrews 5:14)."
Jon Bloom, The Unexpected Answers of God 

I even need to ask God for strength to dare to continue asking for this wisdom. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

We shall not cease from exploration

Somewhere in the Bayan-Ulgii aimag, Mongolia
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time

When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;

At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree

Chaozhou: Phoenix Mountain

From T.S. Eliot's Little Gidding. 

And at the end of this leg of exploration is to give a better answer to 'Who am I ?' 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

To Laugh

How am I different now from the Kang in Singapore? Fresh from the trip of a lifetime in Mongolia and intentionally being still and think this chilly Sunday, I might have an answer.

That is to laugh. 

To let myself laugh, in spite of everything that has happen, is happening and will happen. 
Was generally a serious kid and then I got into social work which I love. But guess because of this tender heart, the judging area of my frontal lobe worked harder while my jovial side of the brain was intentionally unstimulated.

A model I'd emulate is the leadership in Island Baptist Church. There are pressing ministry needs, trouble, and perplexity. Yet each Sunday in church I was sure to have a few good laughs- they could find always find something to laugh at.

To laugh at myself.
Simple as that.

To laugh unabashedly.
Guess I am hesitant to really laugh because it is an open expression which makes me feel vulnerable sometimes. But I observed that this true laugh from within does draw people in because this is a real side of you. My fellow travellers in Mongolia laughed so much at various things and it was something that built that bridge for deeper conversations. 

I'd just end off with a portrait from the extremely affable Jim who shared his photos so willingly with us all.Think I was laughing just because I was happy.

Sunday, September 20, 2015


It's been a filled week- and now winding down, preparing for Sunday, I am in a contemplative mood. Against the strains of Coldplay I pause and have no words to describe my experience.

Ah wait I have- existential psychology.

My Mitwelt and Eigenwelt- interrelationships and my relationship with myself- seems to be coming together in a more congruent way.

I realised something in myself which affects how I relate to people and vice versa, but the links are not clear yet:

A memory often revisited and pondered over:
I was wearing a thick jumper (probably ugly), holding my Mum's hand as we walked to kindergarten where I would be brought to Snow City later on. I can hear. A child can hear "Why is she wearing such thick clothes in such a hot weather?"

I don't know why this memory is associated with shame for me. I know that I feel shame for myself and my parents.

Coming to awareness of this and acknowledging this shame has really helped me to be more authentic- and really, helped me to be more connected with people. For example, I will ask myself: "What is so shameful about asking your friends out?"

Thankful for this new environment that challenges me to confront myself. Can't really write more now; distracted by Skype conversation on the other bed (trying so hard not to follow it hahah).

Sunday, September 6, 2015

970X, 970, 8X, 23, 37A

Think my first week here has been defined by buses. Starting with 970X which landed me at the picturesque West Kowloon Waterfront Promenade when kiasu me intended to head to school the day I touched down to register. 

After that it was a string of mini buses, cross-harbour buses, city buses that I hopped on and off without thinking too much until I realised how expensive they were :o 

970 is my favorite bus so far. Brings me to school and back, brings me to Inner City Ministries, comes pretty fast. I had a good time with the ICM staff and the Nepalese children yesterday. Would have been better my nose weren't running and head wasn't so leaden that I was almost impatient with those boisterous kids. So thankful to see 'real-action'. I guess every ministry, from prayer to running Sunday School for Christian kids to engaging a marginalised community is real action. 

Whether its the naughty Doldo at Kids' Club or the shy Ruth at Sunday School, the change is equally miraculous when they see both their sinfulness and the great grace of God, and accepts Christ as Saviour. Note to self.

8X is my least favorite for how it got me wandering for more than an hour. Not complaining not complaining, just relative to 970. Not all who wander are lost, the difference is the mindset. 

So I wanted to check out Cafe Lavande, and the Citymapper app told me it was 13 minutes walk from where I wrongly alighted (it was a minibus which means you won't know where the heck you are if they skip stops unless you can read street names and check the phone simultaneously well). 
Okay it was kinda my fault also because I figured it won't be that hard, right?


But well, took the chill pill like this panda at my destination. And so I walked streets which I wouldn't have, followed locals up the Mid Levels escalator, stumbled into Eric Kayser Maison (really really dig bakeries).

Thank God for His little providences everyday, especially protection cos I might have been a bit too reckless heading out offbeat places alone. 

Can't remember what bus I caught to Island Baptist Church today. Amidst my still-leaden head I was touched by the very down-to-earth service in all sense of the term. No music accompaniment, worship leader had to remind us (good-naturedly) to follow his tune, the pastor muttering that he was running late. But then he teared halfway talking about the personal setbacks he encountered, when preaching about the redemption God sovereignly planned for Israel through Moses.

In our unbelief, God can allow us to be uncomfortable, and that is what we need- something I took away from the sharing which I was a marked contrast to the ordered sermons I am used to.. 

Ending off with this. Epitome of homeliness. Apparently they celebrate birthday babies every month and so here is the birthday cake cobbled together with swiss rolls, mixed fruits and whipped cream. Tasted ever so good over getting to know international brothers and sisters.