Letters of Life

27 Things You Never Knew About Me (Part II)

A continuation of Part 1 which you can read here.

Talisa Soto was huge as a Vogue cover girl then. Her beauty is accessible and interestingly, what shes wearing on the cover in 1989 works today.

1. My fashion education started in college in midwest America. How can that be? Exactly! American Vogue became my biggest distraction when I wasn’t reading English classics or learning how to layout a newspaper’s front page.

Then, at my first job with the long-extinct GO magazine,the stylist gave me the foundation of what I know today about style and styling.

That plus a steady diet of American magazine journalism in the form of Vanity Fair, Details, GQ, Esquire, Rolling Stone, Women’s Wear Daily, Interview, even Wired, Empire, and The New Yorker, on a monthly basis, unconsciously shaped the way I think and the way I write today.

2. Yes, I also bought and read books, at least one a month. No Kinokuniya, Kindle, or Amazon then. Only Times the Bookshop and MPH, so I bought hard-to-find titles whenever I went to the States.

I also watched movies at least once a week. When one is in magazine journalism, this is the life: Books, magazines, movies, cocktails in the evening courtesy of Giorgio Armani, fashion shows at lunchtime courtesy of Donna Karan, and bags and bags of freebies.

3. Since my first diary at 16, I’ve never stopped journaling.

4. I have a big inferiority complex. Fortunately, or unfortunately, it has diminished with age.

5. I love to look at rings, and given a chance, I would buy rings. Yet I find them annoying to wear.

6. I love breakfast. Not the cereal and milk kind, but the kind of breakfast you eat on holidays, the kind you would pay almost $20 for (well, I would sometimes), the kind that lets you skip lunch because you’re so pleasantly full. Breakfast of the eggs-and-sausage-and-toast-on-the-side kind. With coffee that is slightly bitter (even after milk and sugar goes in).

Obviously, I’m not really a coffee person, am I?

Some of my most favourite memories are of breakfast with old friends. These are the best of times. You’re eating comfort food with people you’re comfortable with. The day is just starting and everything is a blank slate, except for the slate you share with your friend, which is scribbled all over with random dates and shared minutes, hours, days, and nights.

7. I once almost broke into tears in the middle of a supermarket aisle piled high with cereal, milk, honey, biscuits and chocolate all around me. I’d just returned from 10 days in Russia (this was the mid-90s), with its breadlines, empty store shelves, and people selling blackmarket items: A single bottle of Coke, a loaf of bread, outside the subway entrance.

Returning to an abundance which I’d taken for granted proved a little too much.

8. One of the best jobs I ever had was working for a human resource development consultancy. The office was in a building above a cinema and a mall in Orchard Road. I always never had trouble securing tickets to sold-out shows and retail therapy was only a 10-second ride down the elevator.

9. In a taxi, the Chinese taxi driver kindly tuned his radio to a Malay station for me. I didn’t have the heart to correct him. It was nice listening to Malay pop music for a while.

The third installment is coming soon.

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1 Response »


  1. 27 Things You Never Knew About Me (Part III) « Don't Dream It's Over

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