In brief...

I'm a Nature-lover, aspiring conservationist, and wannabe traveller in search of outdoor adventure.
My interests vary from conservation to education to heritage to Nature (biodiversity & wildlife) to outdoor activities to life in general.
They occupy most of my waking moment.
Do read my blogs, follow me on Twitter (@jocelynesze) and friend me on Facebook (subject to my discretion). Visit my Nature blog, Nature Rambles, at http://natureramble.wordpress.com.

UPDATE 2 Apr 2017 - This site is no longer maintained, please visit jocelynesze.wordpress.com if you're interested in more recent writing.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

yay officially now an open water diver. gotta wait a month for the cert itself though.

always knew about singapore's infamous visibility, but today was reaallyyy bad. about half a metre. amazing really. saw a crab. sponges, corals, squirts, algae. but diving is cool anyway, even in singapore.


had a short and small class outing. on the way back home from diving lessons. good to see them again, even though it's just a handful.



work starts tomorrow. quite excited. but gotta wake up early :/ and i think i'm catching a cold, though thankfully after OWD completed.



it's been so rainy :/

Friday, January 28, 2011

woke up earrlllyyyy today to climb at dairy farm. but rain :( walking halfway suddenly downpour :( monsoon season sucks.

ended up slacking at king albert park for a long time, eating island creamery ice cream :D before going down to climb asia.


my climbing schedule is screwed, havent climbed in 3 weeks then yesterday and today boulder, then prob not gonna climb for another two weeks. sighs. hand pain :(



but totally cant wait to dive tomorrow, like REAL diving and not in the swimming pool! :D :D even though it'll probably be cold, and might possibly rain (nooo...) and the visibility wont be very good... but still! something i always wanted to do. and actually did.



oh and i got my 7th camera. traded in spoilt number 5 for new number 7. olympus mju tough 6000. hopefully it'll last long(er). i'll try to make sure it does. try.






no more free weekdays!! work starts next mon. filled with trepidation and horror at having to wake up super early everyday while going back late, but very excited about the job (:
and i realise i havent said what my job is. i'll be at the zoo! but not zoo keeper.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

went back to rj on tue morning again to talk to the j1s. on intertidal ecology or sth like that. i dont know how much of intertidal ecology i knew 2 years ago, but it's still pretty amazing how much i've learnt since i started getting interested in these stuff in s3. still so much more to learn though, like mangrove plants! and other stuff..

diving lessons so far have been pretty awesome, i love the feeling of scuba diving, apart from the cold. it's really really cold. cant wait to go out into open water! and see hantu underwater :D


then yesterday morning was spent at admiralty park mangroves. doing the mega marine survey with nparks and tmsi. really really muddy, lots of polychaetes (bristleworms. kinda like earthworms only they have bristles) abound and long-tailed macaques. hard work, but i enjoyed myself pretty much. fieldwork is always awesome.



super tired now, not been getting adequate sleep the past few weeks? but at least i dont need to go to school anymore :D though there's still tuition :/ hope i dont burn out in the coming year..





goodbyes are always hard to say. and farewells are always sad.

Monday, January 24, 2011

finally spring cleaning the house! after like 5 years, since we moved in... but won't really be clearing out my room. that would probably be when we're moving house, later in the year.



looking at all the photos and meeting them again after almost a month, i really really miss the krabi trip. the awesome and fun times. no adult to chaperone us, everyone squeezing into one room and all the late nights and early mornings, meals walks and climbs together (and everything else!) and everything. i miss those times. and the worse feeling is knowing, even then, that you might never get the same experience again. thanks to jolyn, lynnette, andrew, clement and randy for the materialisation of the trip and the awesome times we had (:


and i counted. i have at least 22 shirts from events/organisations that i was in (at least because there are quite a few more that i didnt count), and at least 22 shirts/singlets from comps that i participated in. just the past 6 years alone. now i dont know what to do with them. they've been hiding in my drawers mostly. dont really want to give them away, cos for one it's quite weird and for another each shirt brings back memories, mostly fond memories. maybe i'll cut them up and turn them into some kinda patchwork quilt. maybe.



work starts next week. this is my last "free" monday. i'm gonna be busy with work, and tuition and whatever else that comes along. it's quite sad really. i wont be having so much freedom for a long time. but the experience is gonna be awesome (: i hope.


still so many people i want to meet up and catch up with.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

been going back to sch quite often these few days. kinda miss the things we did in sch. apart from the studying (giving tuition is not very fun T.T)

first was ecolit talk for jip. then st johns island trip with rsi for jip too.

st johns was awesome. one of the few overnight "trips" i had in rj that was not in sch. i think the first was class camp and after that the st johns trip. it was really a very awesomely fun camp, i really enjoyed myself on st johns. the people and the activities and the place and everything (: thank God for the good weather and that i could go for it (:

i miss exploring the shores. really really miss it, i'm so much more comfortable on the shore (or at least in marine habitats) as compared to like forests (terrestrial). not that i dont like terrestrial, just that well marine is much more awesome.


only my camera is still somewhere in japan. sighs.



i may be dao and reclusive but i really enjoy talking to people. about things i do.



went to bukit timah nature reserve (btnr) ytd for some nparks volunteer session, and like whoa the place is crowded. damn crowded. looks like orchard road. scary much, i'm never going there on weekends. i remember last time when odac went there to train, there definitely werent that many people. or foreigners. and yeah i dunno if that's a good or bad thing. i suppose that's where management comes in.


parties are definitely not my kind of thing but i had fun at lynnette's birthday party/sleepover. resulted in 4 hours of sleep before going for diving pool session 1.


diving is so amazingly cool. pool session was fun enough, glad i didnt have much problems with it. cant wait for actual dives (: (:





so similar yet so different.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

why is it that people think that only kids can enjoy nature, that people only bring kids (like toddlers) to the zoo/park/seaside? why isnt it something that sticks with people till they're old and wrinkly? it's like as a kid you go outdoors a lot. but come teen/young adult, if you go outdoors a lot still, it's now called a passion or a hobby or like, just something that is exclusive and maybe unique.

and now, fewer and fewer kids are going out to play. (and i dont mean that it's cos of our lowered fertility rate). television and computer games and game consoles are just depriving kids of what childhood should be like. people are losing their connection with nature. from something that should be very fundamental and central to our lives, it's become something that only a few people do/enjoy. i just dont get it. how did we end up like that? i think actually humans dont really progress. we actually regress, only it appears superficially like we're progressing.




anw, on a more personal note, thinking back, i think my blog kinda evolved. i used to take a lot of photos (not the very awesome kind but at least photos) and post them, but now i cant be bothered. and being without a camera, i cant even take photos. though i really wanna pick up photography, esp like wildlife/nature/outdoor photography. but well looking at the way i handle my belongings, maybe that's a bad idea. and anyway i lack the capital.

and reading my past entries, of Jan 2007/2008/2009/2010 (basically all my past Jan entries), i realise i really changed a lot. mellowed down. maybe the old me is still hidden somewhere inside, just a shadow. maybe with the right people and context and situation and everything it will resurface.

not that i am any less full of zest for life and whatever; i think it just doesnt show as much on my blog. i dont see the need to tell the world what's going on in every single second of my life. reading my past entries was just pure nostalgia, cos i had honestly forgotten how crazy my life was back then. and i guess with such entries posted much less now, a few years down (or maybe just one), when i look back i wont be able to really remember what my life was like.

but also, though i changed in demeanor maybe, i am still more or less the same. the content remains. i think i'm just less high/emo/exhausted now. the mood swings are much less. i'm now just generally happy and contented and floating along, not high or exhausted. and obviously, have much less commitments. though i'm still not the kind to do nothing and have nothing to do.





sometimes trying too hard backfires.






Almost Lover - A Fine Frenzy
Your fingertips across my skin
The palm trees swaying in the wind, images
You sang me Spanish lullabies
The sweetest sadness in your eyes, clever trick

Well, I'd never want to see you unhappy
I thought you'd want the same for me

Goodbye, my almost lover
Goodbye, my hopeless dream
I'm trying not to think about you
Can't you just let me be?

So long, my luckless romance
My back is turned on you
Should've known you'd bring me heartache
Almost lovers always do

We walked along a crowded street
You took my hand and danced with me in the shade
And when you left you kissed my lips
You told me you would never ever forget these images, no

Well, I'd never want to see you unhappy
I thought you'd want the same for me


Goodbye, my almost lover
Goodbye, my hopeless dream
I'm trying not to think about you
Can't you just let me be?

So long, my luckless romance
My back is turned on you
Should've known you'd bring me heartache
Almost lovers always do

I cannot go to the ocean
I cannot try the streets at night
I cannot wake up in the morning
Without you on my mind

So you're gone and I'm haunted
And I bet you are just fine
Did I make it that easy to walk
Right in and out of my life?

Goodbye, my almost lover
Goodbye, my hopeless dream
I'm trying not to think about you
Why can't you just let me be?

So long, my luckless romance
My back is turned on you
Should've known you'd bring me heartache
Almost lovers always do

Sunday, January 16, 2011

hmm been mia for quite long. least i think it's long. i really havent seen some people in more than a month. not talked to people in weeks. i feel almost like a recluse, but yet i've been quite busy. maybe this is what life is gonna be like from now on. you're busy doing other things and have less time for "older" friends. or maybe, it's just me :/


was in bangkok for the first half of last week. for the first time in memory, my family (minus the only schooling kid) went overseas just to shop. probably the last too. only reason we went bangkok was cos had a free week's stay in some service apartment there.

it was cool how taking cab is actually quite a bit cheaper than taking the mrt equivalent. and the cabs were everywhere. so unlike singapore. it's just scary how fast the cab metre jumps in singapore. cck to sg zoo cost me $15.40 :(

and yeah, clothes are quite cheap in bangkok. and the food too. but the air quality sucked. nonetheless, i like holidays in general (: i'd really really like to go backpacking one day.


came back singapore for a day, before going for a camp in the zoo! i'm increasingly spending my days in the west. now i realise why people stay in the west. the east is not gonna be good unless i go overseasss.


zoo camp was awesome fun, though quite tiring. learned more stuff, met more people.

but i wonder why doesnt wrs, nparks and rmbr collaborate more. maybe objectives different, maybe ideals and working styles. but they're all to do with education, nature, biodiversity, research, conservation and stuff so i dont know. they all seem kinda isolated. but these are probably the few places i can work at when i come back. it's just gonna depend on whether i want to do education and outreach or research and fieldwork or what.



and maybe, a paradox of people like me (or maybe just me). to have more people to want to know more about nature, to be more concerned about the environment and biodiversity, to know and love nature. but yet, with that, it means that outdoor, nature-y places, already so scarce in singapore, are gonna be crowded, which is not what i want. i dont like crowds. i like nature and the outdoors precisely because there are fewer people. but yet without more people knowing and loving and hence caring for it, then these places will be gone. but then with more people coming, there's gonna be damage and impact and it'll probably be gone, or at least changed (to become more man-made and uncool).

do i make sense? i get what i mean but i dont think others do, i know i'm not that good a writer.




cant wait for diving course to start and end (: i dont care that i cant drive, i just wanna dive.

Friday, January 07, 2011

now i'm really aching, my arms and my legs, from whatever i've been doing the past week while in singapore.


i cannot imagine how i managed to climb decently well last time. i'm climbing so horribly now, i just cannot believe that i used to be able to climb somewhat hard routes with a bit of effort. cos now i just cannot do them, for lack of endurance or strength. gonna take so much more climbing to be able to do hard routes again, and i dont know if i have the time.


so many things to think about now. many things open to me, and yet, very few. i really dont know what will happen in the end, but i believe God will guide me to make the best choice. really quite conflicted.


but for now, i'm going off again, to bangkok. take some time to reflect and think about what i really want this year and just relax, before i come back and have to really start earning money to do what i want to do.



and today was rj open house. went back, not intentionally for open house but wells. wasnt that crowded, and i think the money spent by the school on openhouse was way too much, much more than necessary. especially since there werent that many people around.


really, city living removes most people from sustainable living, because you dont see the point in living sustainably, in living in an environmentally-friendly way. excuse me if my english doesnt make sense, because i'm a bit sleepy and my brain kinda woozy. but yeah i think you get my point. we dont see the animals getting killed so we get our meat, we dont have to do much to get our electricity and other energy sources so we dont see the point in switching off appliances when not in use, we dont see how much resources goes into making unnecessary products and where all those rubbish go to so we dont really think twice before buying stuff. and the list can go on, i'm sure.
and i'm guilty of it too. with my really high carbon footprint generated from all the flying around :/ i might need to fund the reforestation of an entire forest.


humans cant live for too long like this. for all our intelligence, i dont understand why is it that the important people up there cannot see this and understand it. the earth is fine, it doesnt need saving. it was fine before we appeared, it is fine while we are here, though admittedly we changed the way it is very markedly in a way that probably no other species has been able to, and it will be fine after we disappear. because we are the ones that need the earth, not the other way round. we wont be able to live when everything that can be harvested from the earth has been extracted, refined and made into useless rubbish that is sitting in all our developed countries' homes. i guess this is quite against the christian creationist view or something, the pov that earth was made for humans and for us to use. i'm not saying that the bible is wrong or whatever, i believe that God made this world. but i'm sure we're not supposed to abuse it. sighs maybe i'm just getting myself into a debate that i dont really want to be involved in. cos i dont see the point of it.


it's just that i wish the world could live the way i envision a perfect world to be. only yes i know i'm an idealist and naive and whatever. a world where everyone is at peace and living sustainably and there arent too many people and people are in tuned with nature. know what nature does for us and know the nature around us. cos thinking that monitor lizards are komodo dragons is really quite sad. though of course there are many other stories that are equally amusing yet saddening. singapore education fail.




Only Hope - Switchfoot
There's a song that's inside of my soul
It's the one that I've tried to write over and over again
I'm awake and in the infinite cold
But You sing to me over and over and over again

So I lay my head back down
And I lift my hands and pray to be only Yours
I pray to be only Yours
I know You're my only hope

You sing to me of the song of the stars
Of Your galaxy dancing and laughing and laughing again
When it feels like my dreams are so far
You sing to me of the plans that You have for me over again

And I lay my head back down
And I lift my hands and pray to be only Yours
I pray to be only Yours
I know You're my only hope

I give You my empathy, I'm giving You all of me
I want Your symphony singing in all that I am
At the top of my lungs I'm giving it back

And I lay my head back down
And I lift my hands and pray to be only Yours
I pray to be only Yours, I pray to be only Yours
I know You're my only hope

Thursday, January 06, 2011

been a pretty awesome first week back in singapore so far.

went to tampines mountain bike trail on tue morning, dairy farm to run/hike/climb on wed, had my first job interview on wed as well, and climbed/iceskated today. and prob more climbing tomorrow.

making up for what i've lost and what i'll be missing out on. i'm so amazingly lousy now. sighs but i wont have much time to climb once work starts i think.


so tired, and working life is gonna be so much worse.


but having fun so far.




How To Save A Life - The Fray
Step one you say we need to talk
He walks you say sit down it's just a talk
He smiles politely back at you
You stare politely right on through
Some sort of window to your right
As he goes left and you stay right
Between the lines of fear and blame
And you begin to wonder why you came

Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

Let him know that you know best
Cause after all you do know best
Try to slip past his defense
Without granting innocence
Lay down a list of what is wrong
The things you've told him all along
And pray to God, he hears you
And pray to God, he hears you

Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

As he begins to raise his voice
You lower yours and grant him one last choice
Drive until you lose the road
Or break with the ones you've followed
He will do one of two things
He will admit to everything
Or he'll say he's just not the same
And you begin to wonder why you came

Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

How to save a life

How to save a life

Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life
How to save a life

How to save a life



i'm just not the kind of person.

Monday, January 03, 2011

i'm so gonna miss school. maybe not doing tutorials or attending lectures, but the whole general experience. rushing and stressing and what not.

spent half my day sleeping and the other half packing up my rj stuff. flipped through files and notebooks, and became very nostalgic and sad at the thought that all of it was over. from pw to all the notes scribbled on post its and i'm getting incoherent already but anyway. i miss school :(

i miss the people and the things i did and everythingg. now no more liao.



now it's gonna be different, really different. i dont mind the change i guess, but i'm just gonna miss what i experienced the past 6 years.



by the way, does anyone want bio tuition? i need to earn some pocket money T.T if you do, please email me at jocelyne.sze@gmail.com!

Sunday, January 02, 2011

so it's 2011 already. i'm not feeling the difference much, maybe cos i'm still in holiday mood and there's no school to drag me back to reality. shall leave the brooding about the past year and the new year to another time, or maybe none at all, because i can barely think of anything. i just hope i can do the things i want to this year, so many of them.


it is quite nerve-wracking to be going overseas during the period of uni application deadlines. i was quite afraid my application wouldnt get processed, but thank God that everything turned out fine (: and thank God that we went to Japan where there's free internet almost everywhere we stopped and not somewhere secluded and cut off from the rest of the world D:


and yes, between the last post and this, i almost lost my 6th camera. left it at the ski resort where we stayed for the first 3 days. thank God one of the staff found it, and another staff is a Singaporean who happens to be a friend of my brother. so it'll stay with her until she gets back... in Feb.

i run through cameras quickly, i drop my phone very often, i lost my brother's itouch, and so far, i've dropped a mango, strawberries, water and milo on my macbook. but apart from spending on electronics, i dont think i spend a lot, or like, it costs a lot to "keep" me... like i dont shop for clothes, bags, accessories, shoes much. i'd much rather spend on travelling :) now i just gotta find a job and a career that i would enjoy and allow me to travel much.



back to Hokkaido, from cheap and nice food that is available at dinner time (7pm), to expensive and decent food that is hard to find even at 6pm. seriously the past few days spent in the towns of Otaru and Sapporo were a nightmare when it came to getting dinner. almost all the shops close at 5pm, apparently cos of the new year, and we had to walk around a lot just to find a shop that was open and serving anything edible and could hold 9 people at once. but we managed to eat at this awesome ramen shop in Otaru, nicest ramen i've ever eaten, and that's when i dont really like ramen.
and from crappy toilets with lights that are barely working and a flushing system that involves a bucket of water, to toilets with heated toilet seats and a machine that washes your butt with nice warm water and automatic flushes. Japanese toilets are one of the nicest in the world i think. nice and clean and the heated toilet seats are the best when you've been out in the cold.
and and from a room that is comfortable enough even for 6, to a room with barely enough space to turn around even with only 2 people. rooms there were tiny.


and people in Hokkaido dont celebrate the New Year. apparently families buy KFC to eat and watch tv at home and couples go out for expensive dinners, and that's about it. my cousins, brother and i, chaperoned by my aunt, went out to find somewhere that was having a countdown in Sapporo. walked around, found the shopping street where we should have gone to instead of Daimaru that was near the station and our hotel, and ended up ushering the new year in MACS. but we comforted ourselves by saying that we got to eat McPork, which is really quite nice. still quite sad though, that most of us scarcely eat macs throughout the year in singapore, but ended up with our last meal of 2010 and first meal of 2011 in macs.
and we really eat a lot there. breakfast then snack then lunch then snack then snack again before dinner then snack again and supper. just keep eating and eating. esp the cakes cos my family loves the strawberry cakes in Japan. and the strawberries there are super sweet.



anw from Sapporo we transitted at Shanghai (i'm sure there's a language problem there but just pretend you didnt see it.) and took the Maglev train from airport out to the city. spent 2 hours there before going back to the airport, cos the last Maglev train back to the airport was 940pm, even though our flight was only at midnight. and then while waiting to board at the Shanghai airport, i realise that facebook was really blocked in China. twitter and youtube too. miserable much, i would never be able to stay in China. oops over-dependence on fb.



in any case, finally back in singapore to 30degC weather and shirt shorts slippers. and clean air. we had a room in Japan that smelt permanently of cigarette smoke, our flight to Shanghai also reeked of smoke for some reason or other even though smoking is banned on flights, and there was an annoying guy who smoked in the Shanghai airport while waiting for boarding. and an annoying couple who smoked in a restaurant. apparently the restaurant is only non-smoking from 10am to 1pm everyday.



and by the time we're back in singapore, it's really 2011 anddd i learn from fb that student concession fares no longer apply :( sighs.



it's gonna be 5 days in singapore before going to bangkok D: and thenn i'll be in singapore more or less permanently, hopefully with a job.