Pursuing the Autumn Dusk: A Photo Essay

Highway after highway, the bus carrying several passengers, including myself, strode effortlessly along. I remember looking out of the window, watching neat rows of houses pass me by. “I wonder how life is like in those neighbourhoods,” I would muse over and over. Eventually, the houses disappeared, and we crossed over a deep gorge —…

Directionless in Tokyo

On 28 October, 2018, together with my parents, I embarked on what was my first ever trip to Japan. Although it was meant to be a family vacation, it was also an opportunity for me to ascertain for myself if Japan really is how I had made it out to be. You see, for the…

Less Is More — Yangon Reflections [Part 4]

This is a continuation of Part 3, which you can find here. 10:00am, Hesed Community Church, Nyaung Hwa Village On the penultimate day of our stay, we decided to visit a church familiar to the team that was there on a previous trip. Pastor Kyaw Min Tun was first introduced to us by Laval, and…

Less Is More — Yangon Reflections [Part 3]

As I began to write this, I realised that eight months have passed since we found ourselves roaming the streets and villages in and around Yangon. Although bits and pieces of the trip have blurred over time, the congregation of EEC remains vivid in my memory, and their joyous expressions continue to stir me. Social…

Less Is More — Yangon Reflections [Part 2]

This is a continuation of Part 1, which you can find here. 4:45pm, Pwo Karen Mission Compound, Ahlone Township  The Karen people, also known as Kayin, is the collective name of several Sino-Tibetan ethnic groups. Most of them hail from Karen State, southern Myanmar. Today, about 15%–20% of Karen around the world identify themselves as Christians,…

Less Is More — Yangon Reflections [Part 1]

November 11th, 2017, 7:15am, Changi Airport I was seated outside the departure lounge along with a few other members of our church’s mission team. I spotted Joella, the youngest of us — she was 17 — walking over with her father, and I gave them a friendly wave, or at least my best impression of…

Kyoto-Bound

Some years back, I wrote this for someone I used to cherish. We both dreamt of moving to Japan one day, so we kept each other motivated, and this was how I went about it. Over time, people change, and perhaps my writing has, too. But, the same wistful desire remains.   She was nervous….

Playing Marco Polo: Reliving the Silk Road

The searching light shone upon the world by great explorers of the Middle Ages begins to flicker, and for millennials, few of their names bear any significance at all. Interestingly however, prominent figures like Ibn Battuta and Marco Polo appear vaguely stored in our memories, perhaps from the odd atlas book we had skimmed through…

Lines of Jukai

Many tourists have their eyes set on Mount Fuji the moment they step off the plane, and why not? After all, at nearly 4000 metres, it is Japan’s highest mountain, inspiring great pieces of art like ukiyo-e artist Hosukai’s “The Great Wave off Kanagawa”. I don’t know what your stance on balance is, but I believe…