Say hello to Alethea!

Here's a short interview with our new colleague, Alethea, who's also the co-editor of Casual Days and our most amicable + caring Chief of Happiness & Welfare! We loveeee her!

Tell us a little about yourself!
This is a little tough to answer because I don’t know what to tell you!
Let’s just say… I’m the girl you wouldn’t notice on the streets.
I’m a little tomboyish, a little crazy, a little loud, a little emotional, and a little weird.
I’m the girl longing for happiness and love, wishing for peace and joy.
I’m the girl who believes in fairytales and refuses to grow up still!

What do you love/hate about working at Casual Poet Culture?
I love everything about working at Casual Poet Culture. There’s nothing I hate… yet. Haha!!! And I hope it stays this way. =)

What books/music are you reading/listening to recently?
At any one point in time, I’m usually a few pages in or halfway through a number of books. I like to read a couple of pages or chapters of one book, then jump to another book and another book, before returning to the first book. Something like that. The stack of books I’m reading now includes Room by Emma Donoghue, Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman, Eternal Wisdom from the Desert edited and mildly modernized by Henry L. Carrigan Jr., Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern, The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis, and 找到你的工作好感覺 by Matsuura Yataro.

The few albums I’m listening to recently are 第二人生 by 五月天,電影原聲帶 by 自由發揮,Ghosts upon the earth by Gungor, 你在烦恼什么 by 苏打绿, and 不允许哭泣的场合 by 魏如萱。

What/who inspires you the most?
There actually isn’t anyone or anything that inspires me the most.
I feel that anyone or anything can inspire me. The four year old boy I see in church can inspire me through his views on what sharing means to him. The receptionist at the clinic can inspire me through his smiles and friendliness. A book, a song, a movie, a picture, a smell… I feel that any object, any person, and any thing have the ability to inspire and be an inspiration to me. It is whether I want to be inspired or not.

What's your favorite time of the day?
I love the time between 7-8AM in the morning and after 11PM at night the most. The calmness and fresh air between 7-8AM makes me happy. Makes me feel like everything is at peace. Makes me feel at peace. After 11PM, my family members are usually asleep. So I have the whole house to myself. The quietness enables me to sink deep into my thoughts, to do whatever I want, and to enjoy the stillness in the air.

If you had a million dollars, what would you do with it?
Firstly, tithe. Then I would get a space of my own! Woohoo! Next I’ll get some presents for my family and treat them to a huge feast (They have been really supportive especially during the past couple of years but I feel I have yet to really show my appreciation). If there is still money left over, I will donate it to the orphanages.

You lived and worked in Shanghai for abit. What is it about Singapore that drew you back?
The cleanliness and safety of Singapore drew me back. In Singapore, I don’t have to worry about dodging spits when I’m walking along the road. I don’t have to worry about my life that much when I cross the road. I don’t have to worry about being kidnapped and blackmailed. I don’t have to worry about being robbed.

Over the year that I’ve been in Shanghai, I have learnt how to tell if someone is about to spit and dodge immediately. Every time I cross the roads I have to utter a silent prayer under my breath. I’ve been “kidnapped” by three guys at the subway station to a beauty salon, blackmailed by a group of people there and had to pay RMB500 before I was able to leave the place safely. My iPod got stolen twice. I’ve been pushed around in stores and subway stations, and had people screaming at me or over my head in a language that I barely understood. All these made me love and appreciate Singapore even more even though this little island still has its imperfections.

That being said, I have to clarify that Shanghai is not all that bad. There is still beauty in that city. I’ve met a lot of nice people there. Explored a number of quirky little places and shops. I would still visit Shanghai if I have the chance to. It still has a little place in my heart.

Given the choice of immortality and a short but meaningful life, which would you choose? And why?
A short and meaningful life. Anything without meaning is absolutely and utterly pointless. The ideal would of course be a meaningful eternal life. If I get to live forever yet there’s no purpose or meaning in it… what’s the point?! I think I would keep trying to get rid of my immortality then and probably try to kill myself umpteen times.

Where do you see yourself in five years' time?
Happily married. HAHAHA!!!! Although that seems quite unlikely since I have to succeed in getting a guy first. So… let’s just say… in five years time I hope I’m living a happy life where I’m laughing every day, having lots of fun, being at peace with myself and the world, doing what I like, being with people that I love, and traveling a lot!