“Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

It has been a whole, long, thrilling one month since I’ve last updated! Somehow I have been caught up with so many affairs – The one immediately after being the conclusion of the Chartered Financial Analyst examinations, and a celebratory dinner at San Marco at the Lighthouse (possibly my favourite dining place in our little island). I am bound by code not to reveal any questions, but suffice to say it was rather tough and M and I both hope we passed, for it would be a terror going through all the books again and trying to memorize statistics formulas! The exam halls were packed for Level 1 CFA, a big contrast to the Level 3 CFA hall, a ominous sign that not many candidates last till the end, perhaps?

San Marco at the Lighthouse  – I came across this little penthouse dining affair in Fullerton Hotel sometime in my younger pre-university years, when I was searching for dining places in the Fullerton to celebrate a good pal’s birthday. San Marco seemed like a special choice, a little hiding spot away from the bustle of the city, cozy tables and quiet music, and a view of the night skyline being located at the Apex of the Fullerton. A dining experience at the Lighthouse is always special, you feel well-rested and develop an affinity with Fullerton even, you want to run away and have a menage a trois with the chef after trying his food, you are offered surprise appetizers which are always a little dream dessert. On this occasion, we had lamb, lobster bisque, foie gras (so good but so guilty, yes, so it will be the last time), angel hair seafood pasta (the highlight of the day’s dining) amongst others, and forgive me if I am not the best at going into epicurean food criticism, for I simply will not do the dishes justice, except for describing the whole dinner experience as a majestic dream, with quiet and contented conversation in an intimate setting after a bustling day of six-hour examinations. Lighthouse is described as ‘modern Italian’, but I trace some French influences in their dishes.

Also met MN, who shares a little cat who is perpetually the splitting image of mine, named Angel. It was a lovely dinner at Ken’s Ramen (butter in your ramen?) and a discussion on fairytale castles in Germany, Karel Capek, Milan Kundera, and all our favourite authors – it is always marvellous when you find a book lover on the same wavelength who similarly ignores the soccer screen on opening night. MN is a writer/publisher of sorts (forgive me if the end I was not sure of exactly what you do, haha!) and writes on a wide variety of topics, and even dabbles in nature photography. Yesterday, also met S and KS, after a long span of a year – my old theatre studies/junior college mates, and it was a torrent of excited, dreamy conversation on ambitions and realities, of secret love divides, of expectations and photography.  I love them both, they are like my night ring-around-the-roses fantasy crowd in an Enid Blyton story, hidden in the middle of the forest are all our secret thoughts which never quite survive till daylight but emerge like violet pansies in the middle of a conversation.

Will be sharing more in time – perhaps more in detail on recent trips, and as I start the bar course at the Supreme Court, it has been another bundle of work! I’ve taken no pay leave from work officially for the next five months, though I will miss my market manipulation and insider trading cases (a far cry from the mundanity of conveyancing and legal e-filing lectures) and my vivacious and talented team. First day was a sea of black and white, imagine! I feel strangely shy in a big crowd, and am not really especially acquainted with anyone beyond some of my junior college friends (who have cliques of their own!) A nice individual came up to me whom I had met on books collection day came up to me and asked if I needed company to sit with, since I did not particularly know anyone, which was awfully nice, but I felt guilty about disentangling him from his clique, and so did not take up that offer, and met instead a girl on the fourth row from Australia who taught me how to cook gyozas. I feel strangely reassured to meet one individual amidst all from Perth, who reminds me of D.  Isn’t it strange, I have memories of Bibimbap Lawyers all over again, the circumstances of our meetings, and wonder if I will ever experience such serendipities, all over again.

On a random ending note, someone asked again recently why I tend to quote so much of Emerson. Truth to say he is my little President of sorts, and Wikipedia does a nice little entry of him here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralph_Waldo_Emerson

As a lecturer and orator, Emerson—nicknamed the Concord Sage—became the leading voice of intellectual culture in the United States.[124] Herman Melville, who had met Emerson in 1849, originally thought he had “a defect in the region of the heart” and a “self-conceit so intensely intellectual that at first one hesitates to call it by its right name”, though he later admitted Emerson was “a great man”.[125] Theodore Parker, a minister and Transcendentalist, noted Emerson’s ability to influence and inspire others: “the brilliant genius of Emerson rose in the winter nights, and hung over Boston, drawing the eyes of ingenuous young people to look up to that great new start, a beauty and a mystery, which charmed for the moment, while it gave also perennial inspiration, as it led them forward along new paths, and towards new hopes”.

Follow me to Manhattan, come…

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