Blog Post 2: Recap – Australia Trip, 23 Dec 2017


Letter Transcript:

Today is such a great day! It’s only the 2nd day of our arrival in Australia but felt we accomplished so much. I had a really good night’s rest, given that I completely KO yesterday after the flight and being out and about upon landing.

Breakfast at the resort was a great start. We sat outside with a view of the blue and turqoise green Indian ocean. After breakfast, we went for a trail walk from Cape Naturaliste to Sugarloaf Rock. The view was spectacular but there were so many flies! I got so caught up with swiping the flies with my hand (and later a small branch of small leaves) that I didn’t partake in the beauty of the place as much as I should. I told Adrian that we should run as I reckon heat and stillness attract the flies but not when we are moving with the wind in our faces. It worked and soon enough, we arrived at Sugarloaf Rock. They are towering huge rocks and we found a great place to sit and take in the deep blue sea, with our legs dangling off the boulder we sat on. Time stood still and we were in no great hurry to leave. There wasn’t any flies as the wind was strong.

Lunch was at Bunkers Beach House, a tiny cafe just 2km from our hotel. Thereafter we drove to Meelup Beach vicinity and  scaled some steep rocks at Castle Rock. The view from the highpoint was very rewarding and is apparently a whale lookout. On the descend, I slid and grazed my elbow. No big deal but I probably wouldn’t scale that high if I was on my own. A mis-step can be quite hairy!

We visited the town of Dunsborough thereafter and I misplaced my iPhone 8 in the public restroom! But thank goodness for iPhone’s emergency contact (where Adrian is the contact) and a very kind Australian janitor, I got my phone back. I just realised that he rang from his mobile (called Adrian), which meant that he made an international call just to reach him and made sure I got the phone! What a kind soul! I did give him a hug and said that this good deed will give him blessings but I think he deserved more. I truly hope God will bless him abundantly for being such a good person despite not having much in his life (considering that he’s a janitor).

One of the biggest highlights today is that Adrian enjoyed sitting/lying at the back of our Toyota RAV4 (it’s a SUV hatchback)! He finally realised that it is quite relaxing to do that with a splendid view from the car! We agreed to rent a campervan for my upcoming birthday and I am so excited! It’ll be a great test run before I set off on my own in Q3.


The Running Typist

Blog Post 1: Why I am still typing on a manual typewriter

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Blog Post 1 | 7 Jan 2018, Singapore

Letter Transcript

I am typing this letter on my red Olivetti Valentine typewriter, listening to Nina Simone over Apple Music. I first saw this typewritere model at the MOMA in NYC in 2010 (or was it 2011?). The fire engine red and design captivated me. This typewriter was designed by Olivetti in collaboration with Perry King and entered production in 1969. However, it did not achieve commercial success due to its price and quality. For me, this typewriter is easy to use, is portable and reminds me to be creative. It is not my first typewriter though. My first was a Remington Rand No. 5 which I love. It was a very distinguished art deco era piece and was made in 1939, the year my mom was born. Unfortunately, it rusted quickly in tropical Singapore and particularly since I live near the sea.

Typing on a manual typewriter does wonders for me. It slows me down tremendously and helps me process my thoughts. Unlike typing on a computer keyboard or on the phone, one needs to type “XXXXX” (as I did earlier) over typo errors. Re-typing paragraphs of badly formulated sentences or missing thoughts also cost time, paper and energy.

Recently, I sent two close friends (in London and Paris) letters for Christmas. They were utterly thrilled to receive the letters. I was candid about my life and also threw in some laughs so that the letters are not that serious in tone. I always make sure I handwrite my name at the end so that they know the letter was from me. I learned about that from something I read about letters sent during the first World War. The recipient would know that that the letter’s sender was still alive.

So why “The Running Typist”? The obvious is because I run and I type on manual typewriters. When I was thinking of the nickname, I got the inspiration from a pub I saw in London called “The Thirsty Bear”. It left a deep impression in me as I thought it was funny, appropriate and memorable. Such creative business names are uncommon in Singapore (where I am from and now live in). However, that is changing as we see millennials start new businesses with the most creative names.

If there is any typist (on manual typewriters) out there, please feel free to reach out to me. Or if you are a female and ardent about running, I’ll love to hear from you too.

The Running Typist

Jasmine's first

Cape Leeuwin, Australia, 26 Dec 2017