Posts by Year

2016

My article on Indonesia in Brink, last month

less than 1 minute read

I’ve started writing articles for Brink, a new media publication by the same people behind the Atlantic. My first piece is on Tech’s Role in Reaching Indones...

Kolkata Kalling

1 minute read

12 years ago in Kolkata. At the time still much referred to as Calcutta. Now less so.

In Small Rooms with Betawi Women

2 minute read

Not for the first time, I found myself in a tiny room on a hot day, the youngest among old women. Each with a different thing to say to me, also the only per...

When I Was Young

3 minute read

I’m seated now by the side of an old vending machine in Jakarta airport, with power sockets so dirty and old I had to think twice about plugging my cables in...

Tan Boon Chye

2 minute read

When I came home (to Singapore) a couple of days ago, I instructed the taxi driver to go to the Caltex station at East Coast. Most cabbies know this place, b...

2014

Some Updates

less than 1 minute read

I’ve moved to Jakarta to take part in Ideabox with my startup, WoBe I’m writing more on Medium these days. The blog format is unsatisfactory to me at th...

Dumbledore’s Army

1 minute read

I’m finally going to check off on one of the things I’ve told myself I want to do.

Singapore’s So-Called Moral Majority

16 minute read

Call it what you will — if there are some among us in Singapore who fashion ourselves the conservative majority, the silent majority, the moral majority — th...

The Freedom to Love

2 minute read

Ten years ago the Internet was a different place. Singapore was a different place. While it wasn’t exactly the sort of pitchfork-wielding, gay-vilifying envi...

All In

10 minute read

I turn 29 in a couple of months. T-W-E-N-T-Y-N-I-NE. This is doubly a shock because in my head I feel forever young, partly as a function of always having be...

Gyanada 2014

less than 1 minute read

As you may know, I set up The Gyanada Foundation last year. We’ve spent the past year building the organisation and learning as much as we can.

What I Learned

2 minute read

Two years ago I found out I have an autoimmune disease. I will always have it. It changed everything about my life from what I do for money to where I live. ...

An Open Letter

4 minute read

On February 21, I wrote an open letter to the Health Minister, CC-ing the Prime Minister and the Law Minister. This was prompted by the Feminist Mentor’s own...

Culture Kitchen 2: Little Myanmar

1 minute read

If you are anything like me, you’ve walked by Peninsula Plaza all the time and perhaps even entered it when you’ve needed to buy cameras and stuff. You’ve pr...

The Geography of Hope

6 minute read

At 18 I certainly believed I knew everything. I did not know just how much it’d hurt this boy’s heart if I told him the inevitable: that I was in love with s...

Don’t Lugi Be Happy

1 minute read

In peninsular Southeast Asia there is a word of Malay origin, bastardized by Chinese pronunciation that perhaps best describes the prevalent mindset of the m...

An Indian Decade

4 minute read

As a wee child in Varanasi before I threw away my backpacker wardrobe.

2013

Little India Urban Renewal Plan

2 minute read

I believe an urban renewal and community reorganization of the Little India precinct can achieve the following: (a) the creation of public spaces to be share...

Summary

1 minute read

I posted this on Facebook. Cross-posting it here for posterity.

A New Way Forward, Fists Forward?

4 minute read

Update: About 20 minutes after posting this, news erupted that this had happened. I will be posting a second part to this piece shortly.

Living with Graves

4 minute read

A year and a half ago, my friends sent me to a local emergency ward in Singapore when I moved in and out of delirium in the middle of dinner. I had been unwe...

Blazing the Trail

less than 1 minute read

I got a mention in the Singapore International Foundation’s magazine for some of the stuff I do on the side.

Life Is Short. Have A Kit Kat.

2 minute read

As Ashley Madison, the world’s leading extramarital dating website, announced its plans to expand to Singapore, our minister for social and family developmen...

Why I’m Hosting Culture Kitchen

6 minute read

This is a project which has been on my mind for some time now. We’ve been planning it for a while. A part of this is a response to a worrying trend of anti-f...

Love, Singapore

3 minute read

I wrote a small piece for Elle Singapore (Sept 2013) about what it’s like to be lesbian in Singapore.

We, The Citizens

1 minute read

WeTheCitizens.sg is the first part of a side project of mine, which aims to combine technology and activism.

A Weekend Getaway

1 minute read

Still scratching the surface of my favourite country in the world, this time by going to Coorg.

Gyanada Foundation Soft Launch

less than 1 minute read

Announcing the launch of a new non-profit that aims to improve girls’ education in four states of India.

From the Fringe

3 minute read

450 likes on Facebook. This may offend your political sentiments, but I’ll stand by this.

2012

Five of Each

less than 1 minute read

A list of places and things

63Random

3 minute read

63 random things from the past 3 months (inspired by Michael Ruby’s “Fleeting Memories“)

A Public Service

1 minute read

Recently, a friend from Bangalore messaged me on Facebook and asked me for some help. Her family friend, who was not very educated, had paid a lot of money t...

Boomerang

11 minute read

National Day came and went. I haven’t written any of those essays I promised to. Sheepish. I will write them, I just need a little bit more time.

This Morning’s Downtown Line Tragedy

3 minute read

Closure of donation drive: TWC2 will stop collecting donations for the victims of the #downtownlinetragedy tonight (Friday 27 July 2012, 2359hrs). For more i...

Departing Thoughts

3 minute read

I must watch too many scifi movies. I’d rarely been convinced of the malleability of time, but these days I measure out everything in two-week units. Time...

This Site, Now On Steroids

1 minute read

Those of you with elephant memories will remember what this site was 7 years ago. The web was a very different place. This blog was a different blog, I was a...

Wilderness TV

6 minute read

I go off to be one with nature, and all that jazz.

Chocolate, Nudity, Helsinki

2 minute read

I have seen some places in my short travelling life, but rarely a place that offers me chocolate and naked women within two hours of arriving. Helsinki turn...

Four Hours Light

2 minute read

Helsinki, Tallinn, Stockholm, Skinnskatteberg, Malmö, Copenhagen. Once in a while, I enjoy diving deep into places I know nothing about. I have a good feelin...

I Hate Cabbage Soup

6 minute read

White cabbage is death. If there is a Creator, it is one of his less glorious moments. The only thing worse than white cabbage is white cabbage soup. I am a ...

2011

Is This Defunct?

2 minute read

My father was having a conversation with one of the students at the university where he works. Apparently one of them was a frequent visitor to this site. He...

#iamsingaporean

1 minute read

Surprising thoughts on Singapore’s 46th birthday. I spent many years doubting my future as part of this nation, for good reason. I always wanted to leave. I ...

A Drinkable History of My Family

7 minute read

In the tumultuous year that was 2009, I moved all my life’s possessions around the world several times, and then came home to find my grandfather was going t...

adriannantan.com

less than 1 minute read

A friend says, “you just need an excuse to get another blog”.

Lakewood

18 minute read

A crash. A breakdown. 200 kilometres in the opposite direction. Andrew and I were left without our native son, and we screwed it up in as many ways as it was...

Private Islands for Everyone

1 minute read

There comes a point in every traveller’s life when the experience of going to a foreign place no longer feels the same, nor as exciting as it used to be when...

The Great Southern Trunk Road

6 minute read

If you looked on a map, the holy southern Indian city is merely 185 kilometres from Madras. If you took a bus, it would take just under five hours. If you tr...

We Have No Dungarees, Saar

3 minute read

There are slower ways of seeing India. On a buffalo. On a “two wheeler”, a motorcycle, stacked to great heights with assorted luggage until you can’t see wha...

Southeast Asia for Lovers

1 minute read

There I was, sipping my welcome drink in a posh Ubud resort, when I almost choked on it. I was accompanying friends as they sought the best wedding venue in...

Crazy, Delicious Love

1 minute read

[](http://res.cloudinary.com/dmchbvarm/image/upload/v1456563157/110209-TLP-Valentine_kowmxm.jpg)Chocolate chilli and strawberry cream cheese One of the proje...

Be Kind, Reboot

3 minute read

[](http://res.cloudinary.com/dmchbvarm/image/upload/v1456563158/110209_bekindreboot_ysayuc.jpg)Sunset in Nikoi island It’s no secret I’ve lost interest in wr...

2010

2009

You Asians Have Two Stomachs

7 minute read

Some friends from Turkey came to visit this past weekend. I had a great time hanging out with Melissa and Emirhan in Antalya when I stopped by en route to Is...

2008

Bombay Burning

7 minute read

I don’t have to tell you what happened in Mumbai. You already know it. I wasn’t there that day, and although I may at some point in the future, I have never ...

My City

4 minute read

My city is often made out to be a boring business city, sterile and lifeless. Not entirely. No amount of protestation at how we’re really unique, though, is ...

2007

Chasing the Monsoon

5 minute read

Where I dig through my archives and repost the stuff I like. This is from 2007.

Sudder Street

6 minute read

Reposting stuff I like from the archives. This is from 2007.

2006

Portraits Unphotographable

5 minute read

Whether it’s a long-haul transatlantic flight or a regional short hop, or even just a trip out on a local bus, the process of meeting and eventually talking ...

Amar Shonar Bangla

6 minute read

Where I dig into my archives and repost stuff I like. This one’s from August 2006, when I’d spent some time in both sides of Bengal.

Why I Am Still A Feminist

5 minute read

Reposting stuff I like from the archives. This is from 2006. It has also been republished in print in GASPP, A Gay Anthology of Singapore Poetry and Prose.

Other Mornings in Other Places

2 minute read

What I have noticed about being away, and still can’t shake off, is how mornings in each foreign place are so strikingly different from what one is used to; ...

Art and Lies, And

4 minute read

Reposting stuff I like from the archives. This one’s from 2006.

2005

Incandescent

2 minute read

Reposting stuff from the past. This one from 2005.

Roundtable

4 minute read

Where I post stuff from the archives, the stuff I like. This is from 2005.

Excavation

5 minute read

Where I dig into my archives and repost stuff I like. This one’s from April 2005.

Release

2 minute read

Where I dig into my archives and repost stuff I like. This one’s from 2005.

The Eight Ages of a Woman

5 minute read

Blast from the past: digging into my archives and republishing the stuff I like. This was originally from 2004, and reposted again in 2005. And again now.

2003

Two Weeks

1 minute read

Some weird poetry from 2003, when I was a wee child.