Icons For the love of architecture. The Best! http://www.lunch.com/ArchitectureBest <![CDATA[Chicago Spire Quick Tip by BaronSamedi3]]> http://www.lunch.com/windycitysecrets/reviews/d/UserReview-Chicago_Spire-440-1419170-218664.html http://www.lunch.com/windycitysecrets/reviews/d/UserReview-Chicago_Spire-440-1419170-218664.html Tue, 3 Jan 2012 01:00:49 +0000 <![CDATA[Sands SkyPark Quick Tip by Sharrie]]>




Some incredible images of the SkyPark from the net. If you haven't seen these before, you'd definitely want to go on top it now, don't you? Well, enjoy your virtual trip and if you do make a trip to Singapore in near future, make sure you don't miss your chance of taking some spectacular pictures around this latest tourist attraction in Singapore!]]>
http://www.lunch.com/reviews/d/UserReview-Sands_SkyPark-1754355-211337.html http://www.lunch.com/reviews/d/UserReview-Sands_SkyPark-1754355-211337.html Wed, 10 Aug 2011 14:09:00 +0000
<![CDATA[ Simply breathtaking!]]> The latest tourist attraction in Singapore atop the Marina Bay Sands Casino & Hotel. The view from up here is awesome and the wow factor lies in the hotel's swimming pool which overlooks the entire Singapore CBD skyline! 



Go up around 6 pm to get a great day shot, 30 mins later the sunset shot and another 30 mins later the night shot! Do not go up in the day as it'd be way too hot by the time it opens at 10 am. The Skypark opens daily until 10 pm. The price of getting this magnificent view is S$20 (about US$18) and you are allowed to stay as long as you like. It's actually atop the 57 levels of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel and Casino. The newly opened hotel is the biggest one in Singapore and boasts some 2561 rooms. It's also touted as the most expensive stand alone casino, built at a cost of some S$8 billion (US$6.5 billion). 

Expensive you think? Well, take a look at its design. It's like a ship atop 3 buildings! Have you seen anything like it? I haven't! But now, I've stood atop it! What a great view and an awesome place to be! Get a drink or even a dinner up there. It shall be the most romantic one you can have in Singapore!



When I was there last weekend, it's certainly the best sunset I've ever seen after all these years of staying in Singapore! How blessed!

Tip:
You can visit the skypark for free if you stay at the hotel. Alternatively, you can also swap your Lion King entrance ticket for free if you're going for the show at the hotel. Last but not least, if you wish to visit the ArtScience Museum adjacent to the resort, the price is S$35 for 3 exhibits (Salvador Dali, Van Gogh & Tang Treasures) and the Skypark. However, imho, Van Gogh exhibit is a rip-off!

Last but not least, you can also go up to the same deck but not the skypark for free if you're dining at the restaurants. If I'm not mistaken, there is however a minimum cover charge of some S$50 per person!
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http://www.lunch.com/ArchitectureBest/reviews/d/UserReview-Sands_SkyPark-168-1754355-211336-Simply_breathtaking_.html http://www.lunch.com/ArchitectureBest/reviews/d/UserReview-Sands_SkyPark-168-1754355-211336-Simply_breathtaking_.html Wed, 10 Aug 2011 13:57:25 +0000
<![CDATA[Air Force One Quick Tip by Sharrie]]>
Imagine the horror of missing connections for all party concerned!]]>
http://www.lunch.com/airtravel/reviews/d/UserReview-Air_Force_One-129-1732812-206718.html http://www.lunch.com/airtravel/reviews/d/UserReview-Air_Force_One-129-1732812-206718.html Sun, 1 May 2011 11:41:12 +0000
<![CDATA[ Once forbidden to us mortals]]> The Forbidden City was the seat of Imperial power in China for more than 5 centuries. It was where the Emperors ruled and where every Chinese would want to pay pilgrimage to at least once in his/her lifetime, together with an excursion to the Great Wall of China. These are the 2 most magnificent man-made architecture in China. Both are huge and both plays a significant role in the history and civilization of China.

The Forbidden City is the largest palace and compound in the world when it was first built some 600+ years ago. It still is the largest in the world. Here, you will find some 9999 rooms with some one million bricks and two million tiles used in its construction. Only one man lived here, the Son of Heaven (during his reign), the rest were his concubines (thousands) and the castrated eunuchs who served him.
 
There had been many Chinese movies made about the Forbidden City and the Empress Dowager Cixi who ruled for the longest time. The most memorable western movie I remember is The Last Emperor starring Joan Chen. If you've seen the movie, you'd have quite a good idea of how humongous the Imperial Palace is. It takes one a good four hour (at the least) to tour the Palace. That's only because most of the treasures that were once in the palace had been rampaged by the Europeans and Japanese during their attacks early last century. If those treasures are still around, it'd probably take you at least a week to go through the compound. In any case, give yourself at least a good four hour for a quick tour. One walks from the South to the North, one way in and one way out. Before that you'll likely walk through the Tiananmen Square before venturing into the Forbidden City.  If you'd like to see the whole of the Palace compound, go to the South gate & visit the Jingshan Park opposite it. Climb to the top of the pavilion and you'd get a good overview of the entire Palace. One tip though, do not go in the Winter!

My first trip was in the Summer 1993 and it was a little warm but otherwise a pleasant experience. I went again around end 1996 accompanying my aunt and it was in the winter. The only thought we had was to get out as soon as possible! In 2007, when I was staying in Beijing, I took another trip here and it was most pleasant in April. So, the time of the year makes a huge difference in visiting the Forbidden City (as well as the Great Wall of China)!


In the winter, Beijing is absolutely freezing and walking through the Forbidden City is not a pleasant experience at all. The stone wall and the bricks would be so cold that walking through it is not heavenly but hellish. Just like the Forbidden City, it was a palace as well as a prison for its occupants. For those who lived there, it was more of a life of betrayals and murders than those of luxury and happiness. Hundreds and thousands of concubines all vying for the attention of a lone man, the emperor! So, you can imagine! Well, if you can't, there are enough Chinese movies and tv series that recount the plight of some of these concubines and empresses. This is not a palace of joy. Rather, there had been many murders and suicides in this palace (perhaps like any other palaces too).

The 3 famous emperors who had ruled from here were Kangxi, Yongzheng and Qianlong. It was during Qianlong reign that the empire reached its zenith. Chinese supremacy during the 1700-1900 was unsurpassed until it fell to the invasion of the Boxers Rebellion and the Allied Forces in the early 20th century. That's also when my great grandparents left the country for good! As I've never met my grandpa, I have no idea at all what life in China was like. 
 
Incidentally, the notorous Empress Dowager, Cixi, also ruled the empire from here after she organized a coup and installed her six year old son on the throne and then ruled under his name. The Central Kingdom was effectively ruled from within the walls of the Forbidden City, so named because no one other than the "ministers" being summoned by the Emperor were allowed into its wall. The Opium War changed everything and ended the rule of the emperors. The last emperor Puyi abdicated his throne in 1912.

The Forbidden City was once the most powerful symbol and icon for the Chinese people. Today, it's been converted to the Palace Museum and for a time, even Starbucks had a presence here. However, it has since been relocated after countless objections from the Chinese people. Everyday, the Palace Museum will welcome its visitors who still marvel at the magnificence of this architecture built some 6 centuries ago. It is a symbol of power and imperialism for the people of China. While the imperial family had been persecuted during the Cultural Revolution and no longer lives (I believe there is still some descendants who live among the common people) anywhere near this palace, the majestic architecture still dazzles many visitors and academics who have made their way here. 

The Forbidden City has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 so for those of you who are fans of the UNESCO, make sure this is your no. 1 stop in Beijing. Do not miss it if you're visiting China. Otherwise, you've made a wasted trip as with the omission of the Great Wall. These are 2 of the most important architecture in China! 
 
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http://www.lunch.com/ArchitectureBest/reviews/d/UserReview-Forbidden_City-168-1426850-206650-Once_forbidden_to_us_mortals.html http://www.lunch.com/ArchitectureBest/reviews/d/UserReview-Forbidden_City-168-1426850-206650-Once_forbidden_to_us_mortals.html Sat, 30 Apr 2011 12:01:12 +0000
<![CDATA[Château de Villandry Quick Tip by Sharrie]]> http://www.lunch.com/ArchitectureBest/reviews/d/UserReview-Ch_teau_de_Villandry-168-1732583-206645.html http://www.lunch.com/ArchitectureBest/reviews/d/UserReview-Ch_teau_de_Villandry-168-1732583-206645.html Sat, 30 Apr 2011 07:33:31 +0000 <![CDATA[Château de Chenonceau Quick Tip by Sharrie]]>


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<![CDATA[ EPIC!]]>
Having said all that, it is still fascinating to see these sights and man's conquests. C'mon guys, no matter how we all feel about it, it is a thrill, an expensive one ;-) It is also the experience of a lifetime to be at the top of such a building, isn't it? Whatever the case may be, these are icons of a city or a nation. We marvel at the architectural designs and engineering feats. Since I've not been able to fulfill my dream of becoming an architect, all I can delight in is checking out other's works. By far, this is mind-boggling but I'm sure sooner or later, we'll see other out of the mind architectures like those of dynamic architecture.

We are in for interesting times, folks! You ain't see anything yet! ;-)

That's right people, when money is no expanse, the sky is the limit!







Some statistics that might interest you about the Burj Khalifa (formerly known as Burj Dubai):
  • Tallest skyscraper to top of spire: 828 m (2,717 ft) (previously Taipei 101 – 509.2 m/1,671 ft)
  • Tallest freestanding structure: 828 m (2,717 ft) (previously CN Tower – 553.3 m/1,815 ft)
  • Building with highest occupied floor in the world: 160th floor
  • World's fastest elevators at speed of 64 km/h (40 mph) or 18 m/s (59 ft/s) (previously Taipei 101 – 16.83 m/s)
  • The first world's tallest structure in history to include residential space
  • Highest outdoor observation deck in the world (124th floor) at 452 m (1,483 ft)
  • World's highest mosque (located on the 158th floor)
  • World's highest nightclub (144th floor)
  • World's highest swimming pool (76th floor)

Videos on building of the Burj Dubai:











Some of you might say that these are excesses we could live without. You are absolutely correct! Yet, in men's strive for height, we'll be sure to see even more ridiculous architecture in the making. The moral issues behind these constructions are not mine to make despite the fact that many claims that with such buildings in their neighborhood, people naturally become more hopeful of all that can be. I can't fault them for that rationale. I've seen that happened in many Asian countries. An icon (especially one as distinctive as this) certainly impact humans in more ways than one!]]>
http://www.lunch.com/ArchitectureBest/reviews/d/UserReview-Burj_Khalifa-168-1433943-196886-EPIC_.html http://www.lunch.com/ArchitectureBest/reviews/d/UserReview-Burj_Khalifa-168-1433943-196886-EPIC_.html Sun, 12 Dec 2010 04:22:52 +0000
<![CDATA[Burj Dubai Quick Tip by Sharrie]]> http://www.lunch.com/ArchitectureBest/reviews/d/UserReview-Burj_Dubai-168-1433735-196882.html http://www.lunch.com/ArchitectureBest/reviews/d/UserReview-Burj_Dubai-168-1433735-196882.html Sun, 12 Dec 2010 03:12:27 +0000 <![CDATA[ Opulent 7*]]> While it is true that some of the best things in life are free, often we have to pay a great deal to enjoy other things. It is then prudent to ask what we are actually paying for. In the past, we pay for quality, authenticity, uniqueness and beautiful stuff. In recent years, the trend is to not only pay for all of the above but also something else. Not only do we need these factors to be present we also need it to be a special experience. Yes, we are most likely be willing to pay a lot more for the experience of it all.

Since this is a review about a *dream* hotel, let's look at it from this perspective. So, other than it being a hotel with good design, architecture, hardware and service, what makes a hotel an experience of a lifetime? Why are we so much more willing to pay for this home away from home? Simply, why do we have a tendency to pay for extra for a hotel room?

I've stayed in thousands of hotels so I guess to answer this question, I'm more than qualified. I also did a course in Hotels & Tourism Management recently so I ought to know about this answer more than majority of the people. Yes, when we are away from home we need a room to stay. It is not just a simple room, we need one that gives us something more than what our homes have not offered us (be it for the average or the rich). We (at least majority of us) will choose a specific hotel and many hotels compete to not only give their customers the best, they also compete for the best customers. Hence, to see who did well or best in the industry would be most revealing.

To build a world class hotel, it is not as simple as just building the best infrastructure and architecture. A hotel is not like an office, it is not just a mere building. It comes alive and has its own magnetic field. A hotel is only as good as the people living in it. If one takes a quick look at the best hotels in the world, most often cited are those with the best services. If you take an even closer look, many of them are those in developing countries. For example, the most famous of them all is the Oriental Hotel in Bangkok. So, what is it about these employees and what is it in their training and attitude that puts them above the others? Yes, it is fascinating when you think about it, isn't it?

In recent years, the Americans have contributed in some way to the rise of spectacular hotels in the world; either through the many business trips that executives took or due to the high prices of oil we all paid which had flushed the Arabs with plenty of cash to spend (and spent they indeed on many of the hotels in Dubai as well as the best sports cars in the world)! Yes indeed, if there is anything that remains out of our spend spend spend generation, it is these spectacular skyscrapers we see around the world. The most famous and awesome of which ought to be the Burj Al Arab.






I recall seeing the Burj Al Arab on a documentary in Discovery some years ago. It was a fantastic sight! Back then it was the only 7* hotel in the world (now, there is at least another one in China)! So, one wonders what 7* entails. Don't you?

Well, for one, you need to pay just to enter it. As for the others, let's take a visual tour of it so you may decide for yourself :-) 



I know a friend who had entered it for the experience. He didn't stay there for the night but he did experience it like no other. How? Well, he went there for golf. And here is what is distinctive about it, he played golf on its roof top!!! Is that awesome or what?!!!

 

So, other than golf, what is in store for you, you may ask. How about some of these:
  • Never been on a Rolls-Royce? No problem! A Rolls-Royce fleet will pick you up from the airport to begin with.
  • If you are fed up with traffic jams, how about a helicopter for transfers instead?
  • Reception desks on every floor. Private butler service around the clock.
  • In-suite check-in & check-out.
  • Rain showers & Jacuzzis in every suite (yes, suites, not rooms).
  • Dining under the seas and stars.
  • Your very own private beach. 
  • Presidential suite featuring 7200 sq feet of living space which overlooks the Arabian Gulf!

No, I have yet been there (since the last time I was in Dubai, nothing as great as this was in sight yet!) but it is an experience that I'll have to make sure I do experience one fine day, hopefully in near future! As for the rest of you, I leave it up to you to decide for yourself if you're willing to pay for a few thousand bucks a night just for an experience ;-) For those of us who are passionate about hotels, we'll find a way :-)

If you're in any way tempted and the high expense is no consideration, do make your way to the Burj Al Arab (aka Tower of the Arabs) when in Dubai. This is the link for reservation to the official site. Do let us know when you returned how the experience go; we'd all be most jealous!!! :-P

For now, this is the best I can offer, two excellent documentaries on the building of the Burj Al Arab & Burj Dubai (the tallest building in the world unless it's been overtaken by another building in Dubai recently). Dream on it! :--)











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http://www.lunch.com/ArchitectureBest/reviews/hotel/UserReview-Burj_Al_Arab-168-1440456-196879-Opulent_7_.html http://www.lunch.com/ArchitectureBest/reviews/hotel/UserReview-Burj_Al_Arab-168-1440456-196879-Opulent_7_.html Sun, 12 Dec 2010 01:52:22 +0000
<![CDATA[Guangzhou Opera House Quick Tip by Sharrie]]> http://www.lunch.com/ArchitectureBest/reviews/d/UserReview-Guangzhou_Opera_House-168-1661493-193030.html http://www.lunch.com/ArchitectureBest/reviews/d/UserReview-Guangzhou_Opera_House-168-1661493-193030.html Tue, 2 Nov 2010 16:21:14 +0000 <![CDATA[Silversea Cruises Quick Tip by Sharrie]]> http://www.lunch.com/100places/reviews/d/UserReview-Silversea_Cruises-155-1576017-122947.html http://www.lunch.com/100places/reviews/d/UserReview-Silversea_Cruises-155-1576017-122947.html Sun, 22 Aug 2010 12:04:12 +0000 <![CDATA[International Commerce Centre Quick Tip by Sharrie]]> http://www.lunch.com/ArchitectureBest/reviews/d/UserReview-International_Commerce_Centre-168-1452402-56598.html http://www.lunch.com/ArchitectureBest/reviews/d/UserReview-International_Commerce_Centre-168-1452402-56598.html Thu, 6 May 2010 07:20:49 +0000 <![CDATA[Shanghai World Financial Center (SWFC) (上海环球金融中心) Quick Tip by Sharrie]]> http://www.lunch.com/ArchitectureBest/reviews/business/UserReview-Shanghai_World_Financial_Center_SWFC_-168-1434646-56597.html http://www.lunch.com/ArchitectureBest/reviews/business/UserReview-Shanghai_World_Financial_Center_SWFC_-168-1434646-56597.html Thu, 6 May 2010 07:13:39 +0000 <![CDATA[Zaha Hadid Quick Tip by Sharrie]]> http://www.lunch.com/ArchitectureBest/reviews/d/UserReview-Zaha_Hadid-168-1414827-56288.html http://www.lunch.com/ArchitectureBest/reviews/d/UserReview-Zaha_Hadid-168-1414827-56288.html Sat, 24 Apr 2010 05:16:03 +0000 <![CDATA[Antonio Gaudí Quick Tip by Sharrie]]> http://www.lunch.com/ArchitectureBest/reviews/d/UserReview-Antonio_Gaud_-168-1388793-56287.html http://www.lunch.com/ArchitectureBest/reviews/d/UserReview-Antonio_Gaud_-168-1388793-56287.html Sat, 24 Apr 2010 05:14:04 +0000 <![CDATA[Beijing National Aquatics Center Quick Tip by Sharrie]]> http://www.lunch.com/ArchitectureBest/reviews/sport/UserReview-Beijing_National_Aquatics_Center-168-1409320-55676.html http://www.lunch.com/ArchitectureBest/reviews/sport/UserReview-Beijing_National_Aquatics_Center-168-1409320-55676.html Fri, 2 Apr 2010 04:16:06 +0000 <![CDATA[ Surprise, surprise!]]> Travel To The Edge. That was about traveling around the world highlighting photography as the subject matter. This week, I am happy to be watching another series, this time by Dan Cruickshank and his subject matter is architecture. These series are truly nice and entertaining for someone whose primary focus is traveling and secondary focus are photography & architecture. These are series geared for audiences like me! Awesome! :-)


Dan Cruickshank @ Kornak Sun Temple


Leshan Giant Buddha in China

The 1st episode of a series of architectural delights focuses on igloo of Greenland, the largest Buddhist statue in the world of Leshan Giant Buddha (I've visited this one personally), Catherine's opulent palace in St. Petersburg (Amber Room is considered the 8th wonder of the world in this palace; Yep, been there too ;-)) & Indian temple glorifying sex (ooops, missed this one when I was in India!)!

How's that for some excitement? ;-)
I googled for some photos of the Kornak Temple. See for yourself!





Ok, now that I've got your full attention, here's the story behind the Konark Sun Temple in Orissa,
India
. You think a picture tells a thousand words? You are definitely right!
In this case, it's a temple which was having pronounced influence on the people living around it for 400 years, then it was abandoned totally. But why built a temple with sexual imageries all around the temple and what's the belief system behind it?

Any guess?

Well, from what I understood from the documentary, it has something to do with tying sexual activity to spiritual intelligence in the sense that the sacred nature of body fluid and the exchange of it is being perceived as feasting on the divine nectar. Fluid is necessary for life and that's the extension of the nectar of immortality.

Oh well, I'm not so sure if I got this part right but whatever it is, if you insist on finding out the truth to it, why not watch the series? As far as what I can see from its first opening episode, it's interesting enough for me to want to check out the next one which will be on architectures from Egypt, Guatemala, Italy, Czech Republic & India again. All in all, there are 8 episodes with each focusing on a different theme: beauty, death, paradise, disaster, connections, power, dreams & pleasure. I sure am looking forward to seeing them again on TV next week! 

Alternatively, you can probably find some version of it on Youtube or DVDs. Have fun watching!]]>
http://www.lunch.com/ArchitectureBest/reviews/d/UserReview-Dan_Cruickshank_s_Adventures_in_Architecture-168-1440681-19428-Surprise_surprise_.html http://www.lunch.com/ArchitectureBest/reviews/d/UserReview-Dan_Cruickshank_s_Adventures_in_Architecture-168-1440681-19428-Surprise_surprise_.html Tue, 9 Mar 2010 16:08:59 +0000
<![CDATA[Burj Al Arab Quick Tip by Sharrie]]> http://www.lunch.com/uniquehotels/reviews/hotel/UserReview-Burj_Al_Arab-50-1440456-54470.html http://www.lunch.com/uniquehotels/reviews/hotel/UserReview-Burj_Al_Arab-50-1440456-54470.html Sat, 6 Mar 2010 18:14:29 +0000 <![CDATA[ The Smallest Country in the World]]> the smallest sovereign state in the world with only 900 hundred residents! Independent since 1929 after the stipulation of the Lateran Treaty between the Holy See & the Italian State, the Vatican is completely independent of the Italian State. It has its own police force & a real police service represented by the famous "SWISS GUARDS". The Pope is not only the head of the Apostolic Roman Catholic Church but also has full legislative, executive & judiciary powers here. 

For those of you who have never heard of the Vatican, it lies next to the Italian city of Rome. So, naturally, the tour of this city is right after my Rome city tour. Rome (to me) is a city you either love or hate. For me personally, it's a mixture of feelings. Have you ever had this feeling (perhaps not so much about a place, but...) about another person? Sometimes, you can love a person so much it hurts but at other times you simply feel like throwing in the towel? Yeah, that's Rome. 

Since the screening of Dan Brown's "Da Vinci Code" & "Angels & Demons", Rome & Vatican City had been "exposed" to the world. It's unlikely that anyone in the western world hasn't caught glimpses of Vatican city in these movies . In any case, if you haven't, here is a video from the Vatican itself for your viewing pleasure.




Now, back to Vatican City. To me to date, this city is mainly represented by the BASILICA OF SAN PIETRO which has a superbly designed building & everything looks great from the outside. I'm sure the inside would have looked great too, had it been adequately lighted! It was dark in there... which incidentally is a characteristic of most European basilicas, churches & cathedrals. To me, a place of worship is one for you to seek the LIGHT. & therefore, I really would much prefer it if it's bright! One needs all the help one could get in this life. So, more lights please?





In the classical period, St. Peter was martyred & buried here at the original site of The BASILICA OF SAN PIETRO, which was then Nero's Circus. Since 324, the emperor Constantine & many after him had the basilica undergone massive renovations & reconstructions & it was only in 1612 after employing mountains of travertine from Tivoli that the present architecture took shape.

I was on a tour so didn't get much time here. If I were to return in future, I'd certainly love to spend an entire day here discovering beyond the basilica itself. I am curious who really live in this place and would love to talk to one of the 900 inhabitants! I also wonder what their passports look like :-)

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http://www.lunch.com/ArchitectureBest/reviews/d/UserReview-Vatican_City-168-1434444-18384-The_Smallest_Country_in_the_World.html http://www.lunch.com/ArchitectureBest/reviews/d/UserReview-Vatican_City-168-1434444-18384-The_Smallest_Country_in_the_World.html Mon, 15 Feb 2010 08:13:32 +0000
<![CDATA[ A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes ...]]> Susan Boyle “I Dreamed A Dream” took dream to new heights in the world as recent as last year. It’s a shift in paradigm which Thomas Friedman’s The World is Flat has espoused. That we as individual in this era can be as poweful as we can be with the introduction of the internet. You dream and as you dream you become a powerful voice & an empowered individual.
 
We saw that with Susan Boyle, we saw that with Barack Obama. All you have to do is DREAM (a worthy dream)! Disney told us a dream is a wish your heart makes and all of us have dreamt in our lives. Be it consciously, subconsciously or even unconsciously!
 
In the real sense of the definition of what a dream is, it is what happened during your sleep, in the REM mode. REM is Rapid Eye Movement. This happens many times (on average, five) in the course of sleep which is done mostly in the night (I assume). This is not the definition found in the dictionary. This is what I was taught in Psy 101 in the university. REM sleep is where most of our vividly recalled dreams occur. So, we have dreamt a great many dreams in our lives. The question is how much we remember of them when we woke up! It is thus a common thing for every individual, not something from outer space. WE DREAM! How wonderful is that?! :-)
 
As interesting as that sounds, I wonder if your dreams in the night have affected your concious and awake (what we term as real) life? Have you been awaken by dreams (enlightenment, perhaps)? By that I don’t mean nightmares where you were woken up by fright. Rather, that your life itself was awaken by dreams which you dreamt in your subconscious state? Has something that seems like illusion spilt into the real world for you? I HAVE!
 
My choice of belief is in fact very much influenced by the dreams I’ve had. You may say I had my callings (not once, but about 3x) in my sleep. It was very real at that time and don’t appear to be like a dream at all (which I suppose most dreams are like that anyhow). It happened over the course of ten years. I told some friends and former colleagues about them but I’ve never really penned them down until now. Perhaps this is as good a time as any :-)
 
Dream #1: I was a young adult when I dreamt about this. But in my dream I was a young girl back in my primary school in Indonesia. All alone. Trapped in the school (haha, how many have felt that even in real life!). In my dream, the classrooms are in four buildings, all perpendicular to one another, so it’s like I’m in the center of a courtyard. I tried very hard to find a door out of the school but couldn’t. No way out! And there were evil spirits all around, I couldn’t see them but I could feel the chill in my bones. And, I was extremely frightened and with each failure (of looking for a door out of the school compound), I got frantic. The fear was real. Ultra real. It’s like in a Stephen King’s movie. I ran and ran and still to no avail. After a LONG time, out of nowhere, there was a voice that called out to me and it said “Call out to Jesus and you’ll be saved!” And that’s in English but that’s not what I learned or was capable of speaking when I was living in Indonesia. I didn’t picked up English until I was eleven, after I was sent to Singapore for my education. It’s all a dream (well, in a way, it’s more of a nightmare then) so I didn’t make much of it. I wasn’t a believer afterall and I simply put it down to one of those weird dream I’ve had.
 
Dream #2: I don’t have much recollection of this now. In fact, it’s been many years since Dream #1 and I didn’t make a connection between the two at all. It happened in a place which I’ve no idea of where. But what I remember till today is that it was in this dream that I see Jesus Christ and God. And they don’t appear as human or form which you can think of as human. Rather, I see a ray of white light. Not sunlight but a very distinctive white light. It was God showing HIMSELF to me. And that’s all I remembered now. The dream was very distinct when I woke up but since I still wasn’t a believer when I dreamt about it, I simply didn’t take much notice of it. I did however thought it an awesome experience then. It’s like, wow… God shows HIMSELF to me! I think anyone would have been amazed & dumbfounded, even if chalking it up all to a dream!
 
Dream #3: Well, let’s just said as with the first dream, it’s God & savior related. I’d rather keep the details personal until as and when I feel it’s time to let the world know about it. One is entitled to some secrets of her own, right?

 
So, a testimony? Well, you perceive it as you wish.
For me, it was a series of dreams which led me to open my heart to Christianity. You know, I was brought up in a Muslim country with a Buddhist family background but God appears to me consistently in Christianity. And even though I don’t think myself a religious person, I’m highly spiritual for some reasons. God certainly opens HIS door wide to me. During my years of travel, churches and cathedrals could be closed for that day and yet when I arrived, for some reasons they were simply opened! In Peru, the most miraculously thing happened that when an American friend and me were standing in front of a cathedral, it was closed and my friend told me to leave. But I told her let’s wait a few minute and see. Voila! It did opened within 3 mins!!! How miraculous that can be? You think it’s coincidence? I think not!
 
I’ve tested God a few occasions before I was converted and I was convinced. That’s how each of us function. Show me and I’ll believe.This is not a review about God but about dreams and how that had affected my decision and life itself since. Perhaps one day I’d write more about God but for now this is what I’m sharing.
 
About dreams that go beyond gravity and once’s comprehension of reality. Here are some interesting dreams I’ve had of myself.
  1.  I was a bird (yes, literary a bird, not a human) trying to take fllight into far far away land.
  2.  I was a lady from the victorian age dressing with a full corset and all, somewhat like Mary Poppins and yet was in Canada in the middle of a freezing winter!
  3. I was a human but one who lives in the ocean, can swim in the water without any gears, like the Man from Atlantis and a whole series of events which happened all under water.



How strange is all that?
Our world in the sleep mode is indeed interesting and full of possibilities. In that sense, at times when I’m having a nice dream, I could wake up and then go back to sleep and continued with the same dream! How wonderful is that?!
 
So, for dreams, you’ve to dream them and let yourself indulge in this “out of body” experience. As long as it’s not a nightmare, I love to dream. In reality though what you choose to do with it or them is truly up to you. Dreams are uplifting. They are energizer to your life and to share a dream with someone you love is the ultimate, I believe.  
There are scientists who study dream and others who interprete dreams. What is powerful about dreams I believe is not in scientific research or in its interpretations but its possibilities rather than what we all understand about it. As Richard Bach said so well:

""Every person, all the events of your life are there because you have drawn them there.
What you choose to do with them is up to you."
 
And so, a dream is a wish your heart makes!

A dream is a wish your heart makes
When you're fast asleep
In dreams you will loose your heartache
Whatever you wish for you keep
Have faith in your dreams and someday
Your rainbow will come smiling through
No matter how your heart is grieving
If you keep on believing
The dream that you wish will come true

A dream is a wish your heart makes
When you're feeling small
Alone in the night you whisper
Thinking no-one can hear you at all
You wake with the morning sunlight
To find fortune that is smiling on you
Don't let your heart be filled with sorrow
For all you know tomorrow
The dream that you wish will come true

A dream is a wish your heart makes
A dream is a wish your heart makes

You wake with the morning sunlight
To find fortune that is smiling on you
Don't let your heart be filled with sorrow
For all you know tomorrow
The dream that you wish will come true

No matter how your heart is grieving
If you keep on believing
The dream that you wish will come true

"
"

  ]]>
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