Short Story: Harsh Reality

Her eyes darted around. Why was she in this situation? How could she escape? There were so many questions, and yet no answers were in sight.

Teresa was an ordinary girl. She went to school like everyone. She loved dancing and reading.  She was a normal student that nobody would envy. However, she was also the student that everyone wanted to be. Humility and confidence were one of her main strengths. However, she was stuck with a family that did not appreciate her.

The family was torn apart. The father was a heavy gambling addict who borrowed money from many people. Eventually, he turned to loansharks to get money to fuel his gambling addiction. He lost it all and paved a way of darkness for the family. Every day, creditors and loansharks yelled outside the door, asking the family to pay up. Teresa was petrified with the number of people who would threaten and harass them. However, there was a system that was strictly adhered to by the family. Every morning, she would travel to school when there was nearly no people on the roads. After school, she had to stay in school to finish her homework. At the end of school, she would return to her home that was always painted with red paint. There was a war and she was always associated by guilt to the family.

She hated it. Why was she born into this family? There was only dread, fear and insecurity lurking in the home. Why could she not be born into a family full of love and stability? She longed to have a family that would reconcile whenever there were problems; she wanted a peaceful place that she could go to, to allow herself to calm her mind and do what she wants to do. Could she ever escape the dark monster that threatens to make bloodshed? Would there ever be a place that she could go to? Why?

She walked towards the edge. Her eyes were clouded with tears of hate. If only she could turn back time to make everything right. There was no way out. That monster had destroyed the family. It had allowed the family to descend into chaos.

She looked forward to it. The beauty of the future enticed her. There could be peace of mind; she could be her true self. She could do whatever she wanted to; dancing to her heart’s content, exploring the wonders that a book could offer her.  With so many things in store for her, she could have whatever her heart desires. She could finally obtain the very things that she never had; freedom and love.

She leaped.

Mandy Yeo

1U

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Pokémon Go: The Gaming Phenomenon

pokego.pngMany people’s’ childhood show have officially come to life. Through the use of augmented reality and geo-tagging, many people are sent running around trying to “catch em all”. Even though it was launched less than a month ago on the 6th of July, and in only a few territories, Pokémon Go is already making waves all around the world.

Based on the popular franchise, Pokémon Go is a virtual simulation of Pokémon – in real life. As its name suggests, Pokémon Go is a game that requires people (or trainers in this case) to go around catching Pokémon and training them. Pokémon Go uses Google Maps data to put digital creatures into the player’s surroundings. As the individual walks, the GPS in his smartphone would track his position in the world, and it reflects on his smartphone whenever he gets close to one of these virtual critters. Once you’ve travelled to the area a Pokémon is hiding out, you simply tap on the creature on the map and the camera on your phone renders it into the environment. Once he captures it and trains it, he could use it to battle in Gyms, just like in the anime.

When you combine the number of downloads of this free-to-play app on iOS and Android, the total number downloads increases by more than fifty in just one mere second alone. To date, the estimated number of times Pokémon Go has been downloaded is about 30 million, with approximately 26 million users going online per day. This whooping number is set to increase once the game is released to other territories; however, the international release of the mobile game has been delayed due to the incredible number of downloads in the United States, America and New Zealand which caused it to crash.

In spite of numerous controversies and several technical glitches, the game is making an estimated $1.6 million a day from iPhone users in the US alone, and searches on Google for Pokémon Go have also outstripped those for “porn”. As further testimony to its popularity, many celebrities, such as the likes of Jimmy Fallon, Demi Lovato and Ellen DeGeneres, have also fallen in love with this hit game. Just recently, Justin Bieber even chased a Pokémon down the streets of New York City, and nobody could recognize him – reason being that everyone was hooked on catching the rare Pokémon in NYC’s Central Park.

While the game makes for great entertainment, there are many real dangers in this fake Pokémon world as well. Such include trespassing, stopping in the middle of a highway, cars crashing into trees, and many more, all because players are hell bent on catching that one Pokémon. Police departments in the United States are regularly posting reminders about the dangers of Pokémon Go. “Don’t catch and drive” messages have been popping up on many public safety Twitter and Facebook feeds, and highways have even begun to put up emergency notices that read, “Don’t Pokémon and Drive.”

Personally, I feel that, while it’s alright to have fun, it becomes a concern once the game endangers players’ lives. Playing in moderation is fine, but it seems that people in the European countries have gotten addicted to Pokémon Go and are going overboard. If the game were to be released in Singapore, much less in Asian countries, hopefully the people here would not take this trend too far and know their limits.

 

Germaine Lee

3T

 

References:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/07/16/pokemon-go-is-the-new-texting-driving.html

http://venturebeat.com/2016/07/19/sensor-tower-pokemon-go-has-already-passed-30m-downloads-and

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/0/pokmon-go-how-to-download-it-in-the-uk-and-everything-you-need-t/-35m-in-revenue/

http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/pokemon-go-statistics/2/

 

 

Food: Oneh oneh

onehoneh.jpg

A small round green ball peppered with bits and pieces of grated coconut. That’s right, it’s an ondeh ondeh! With the squishy green skin that simply melts in your mouth, the oneh oneh is out of the world! When you bite it, the Gula Melaka bursts into your mouth, engulfing your mouth with its sweetness.

South East Asian sweets and desserts are most strongly defined by the bite sized snacks known as Kuehs. Ondeh Ondeh has always been one of my favourite kuehs. I have never been able to resist these sweet chewy coconut coated balls ever since I was young. Soft and chewy in texture, this is probably one kueh that encompasses all the essential ingredients typically used in the preparation of exotic Southeast Asian desserts. Sweet potato is the essential root vegetable in this dessert while glutinous rice flour imparts the slightly sticky and chewy texture. Coconut milk and pandan juice provide the mild fragrant richness and Gula Melaka (brown palm sugar) rounds up the sweet experience with its distinctive caramel-like flavour.

Doesn’t it sound delicious? Well, what are you waiting for? Head down to the nearest Bengawan solo to purchase a packet now!

Jenevieve Tan

1L

 

Music

lemod.pngI am sure almost everyone has heard of the latest album released by Beyoncé. Lemonade, Beyoncé’s 6th solo album after her previous album, Beyoncé, was released on 23 April 2016. Lemonade is also her second visual album, and was a big hit, debuting at number one on the US Billboard 200. In its first week, 485 000 copies were sold, earning Beyoncé her 6th consecutive number-one album in the whole of America. Though this album which has 13 songs consists of mostly R&B (rhythm and blues), it also has a variety of genres like pop, hip hop, country, and many more.

Some of the songs that are more striking than the others to me are ‘Love Drought’ and ‘Sandcastles’.

‘Love Drought’ is written by Ingrid Burley, Mike Dean and Beyoncé. This song has a slow and sleepy harmonisation, which matches the lyrics of the song. Despite the speculations in the media about the lyrics of the song being inspired by Jay Z’s infidelity, in an interview on June 2016, Beyoncé revealed that that was not true.

‘Sandcastles’ is a song under the genre soul, which combines elements of African-American gospel music, R&B and jazz. It is a ballad with the themes of forgiveness and reconciliation. The lyrics of the song are very meaningful, saying how Beyoncé and Jay’s relationship is vulnerable, just like how a sandcastle is easily washed away by the waves if it is built too close to the shores.

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemonade_(Beyonc%C3%A9_album)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beyonc%C3%A9

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandcastles_(Beyonc%C3%A9_song)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_Drought

Wong Jing Rung

2D