An Ordinary Woman In Paris.

It’s been a little more than two weeks since I moved to Paris. When flight SQ334 landed on the morning of 19th March, I marvelled at the snow that greeted me, even when Spring was just round the corner. I thought to myself as the plane touched down the runway, that the world was ending, there was no time to waste.

Savour life, I say, and make things happen for yourself. The watchword being: self-imagination. Or else your story will end up like one of those indie films, where pretty much nothing really happens, and the characters grow old and die. Not sad, but not exciting either. I realized we’ve got to foster our dreams, the way we nurture relationships with the people we care for. And this balance between life’s practicalities and hopes constantly kept me on my toes. I am in Paris, because I do not want to surrender to the limitations of where I came from. I expected more out of a lifetime, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with harbouring a desire for a bigger, better, brighter you. No matter what they say.

And so here I am, dancing and drowning in spontaneity.

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For now, before my next adventure begins. I am in no hurry. Can we stay this way for a lifetime? I believe, that when a woman sheds her armour of self-importance, she becomes stronger. You can no longer hurt her with your cynicism. “Today’s news is tomorrow’s history”. I no longer take what is said about me, about anything or anyone seriously. Being Sharon Au suddenly seems pretty fun and distinctive again without all these self-image baggages. You will not hurt me with your words. Not for too long anyway.

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If an ordinary girl from Singapore who grew up from a broken, poor and unprivileged family background could receive a good education, be awarded Best Trainee of Singapore Airlines Batch 364, win 11 Star Awards trophies as a TV host and actress, study abroad in Japan and France in my 30s, contribute to the media and fashion industry after graduation and arrive in Paris, I believe nothing should ever stop you from stepping out and stepping up. Live with vigour!

This is not the end. I want to see you fly.

(Photos by Yujia)

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Woman On A Train.

On the train to Strasbourg, listening to Cold Play’s A Head Full of Dreams, hands waving wildly in the air. I feel joy underneath my skin and it makes me want to dance. I shared a jambon cru sandwich and apple juice with my companion, as we look forward to real hot Alsacien meal in approximately two hours’ time with our French friends.

I don’t know if It is the train travelling at high speed or perhaps it is Cold Play’s lyrics but i am feeling like everything is gonna be alright. As I leave behind the unpleasant news from home, at a velocity of 313km/hr.

A sky full of stars awaits…

Some journey, you cannot walk alone.

About Time.


It’s been exactly a month since I arrived in Paris. The initial overwhelming tirade of excitement has subsided, and I am left with a nagging sense of habitude, and hence, tranquility.

On my way to Monoprix, my thoughts were startled by a cheerful “Bonjour Sharon!” and I saw Vincent, hands full of groceries, beaming at me. Vincent runs a café which I frequent every morning, just because he makes the best Sharon’s café in the world, 3 shots of espresso, a dollop of crème, and a dash of familiarity.


This is the quality of life I seeked, where you settle into a healthy routine, sans drama. Where you make friends with the boulangere, with the restaurant owner, and maybe your neighbour’s cat. You no longer rush to shop and to visit the crowded places-of-interest, but take your own sweet time to picnic at little charming gardens you chanced upon along the way. Nobody here knows me. I can do whatever I want. I can be comfortable with myself, my plain old unglamorous funny self.


I am alive again.

Sometimes, not saying anything at all says everything. I found the strength in keeping quiet at last. I am good to let things end.

Because Alexander Venheijer said, “when a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower”. So with the same courage I took to leave show business in 2005, I bid farewell again to a toxic relationship with a city, and packed my wounded heart, and my two luggages, for the second time.


It’s about time. It was good and I lived it.

Now, your turn.

Let’s Misbehave.

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The march towards liberation started three months ago. And the universe brought me back to the place where I first knew what passion was. Awakening, it is all about timing.

I went back in time, to Paris. Spirit soared. Love the vibes of the city, light and yet soulful. I took many walks, I hungered for her scent and her lumière.

There I found the inspiration to communicate and to connect. In a deeper way that is. Neither through captions on Instagram, nor via emoji-ranting on Facebook. I am motivated to write, for those of you who are reading this right now.

Some friends told me that my last post “The Art of (Not) Giving Up” was painfully moving. I am glad my words did something for you. The thing is, what one takes away from a piece of confession actually depends on your perspective in approaching the piece. The objective of said blog entry was to motivate people, who like me, found themselves involuntarily stuck in a moment. However it received some unfavourable feedback from certain quarters of my life, who felt I should be more discerning of what I air on my blog, even if it was a personal one.

I guess that was why I have not able to pen my thoughts since, for I was unsure of what might or might not be acceptable, anymore.

We all have our own battles to fight.

But today I’ll say, let us end the inner-struggle. For once in your life, let us go where the heart leads us. We face enough external conflicts everyday. Why then do we still want to fight with ourselves. It is simply not natural.

Don’t tell me what to do. I am tired of following rules. This is my blog. Hear me roar.


She sent me a poem she saw engraved on a park bench, an extrait from Gaston Miron’s La Marche À L’amour:
je marche à toi, je titube à toi, je meurs de toi
lentement je m’affale de tout mon long dans l’âme
je marche à toi, je titube à toi, je bois
à la gourde vide du sens de la vie
je n’attends pas à demain je t’attends
je n’attends pas la fin du monde je t’attends

Love, it is a grand experiment. One that lights up your heart in delight. One that aches your soul with longing. This is the art of waiting.

Choose pleasure, not hurt.

Make love, not hate.

Do not wait for tomorrow, wait for me.

Wait, and hope.

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The Art of Being A Woman.

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I am not a feminist. I don’t even know what it truly means to be one. I grew up in an environment where I could be as formidable as the boy next to me, sometimes even more powerful.

In my primary school, the girls outperformed the boys. The top three in standard were always girls. I was one of them.

In secondary school, I immersed myself in an all-girls convent. St Nicholas Girls was one of the nine SAP schools who offered both English and Chinese as first languages. The elite special top 7% of students. And I thought to myself, I had to be in the best company. I had to learn from the best. That was the only way I could break out of my poverty. Yes I was already reaching for the stars at the age of 12.

Then I went to Hwa Chong Junior College and to my horror, my classmates were way smarter than I was. In particular, the boys. It was true what they said: men, they blossom at their own pace. and more often than not, later than women. I was in awe of all those intelligent boys I met who seemed to excel in everything they do, effortlessly, sans drama.

I also fell in love for the first time in my life. The once-in-a lifetime-LALA LAND-kind of love. We shared the same locker. He gave me a bunny on Easter 1992. I fell ill. He went to the doctor with me. I moved. We shopped for a bed together. We held hands. I almost fainted. We never kissed. We did not know how. He left me for another girl. I snipped off my long hair to show my pain. He did not notice. I cried.

But we are equal. Always. We bear the same rights to love. We fight on the same battlefields. We suffer the same fall. We celebrate victories the same drunken way.

And so this is what I learned from the men in my life.

Don’t bitch, just work. Don’t talk, just do.

Don’t think. Live.

Don’t think. Love.

I am a much more competent and confident woman, because of the men who left and the people who stayed in my life.

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3 (Non-Touristy) Things You Have To Do In Vienna

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Remember how Ethan Hawk and Julie Delpy taught us about chance encounters and kismet love inBefore Sunrise, the movie? When he recited Dylan Thomas’ poem, As I walked Out One Evening, Vienna was forever changed for me.

Alas, I did not jump off the train with a stranger, and I have no love stories to share. But I do have three things you can do, if you’d like to fall in love with the real Vienna – all before sunrise.

#1 Breakfast at Café Tirolerhof

Forget about the typical buffet breakfast at your hotel, no matter how sumptuous the spread. Eat at one of their local coffee houses (the equivalent of our kopitiams) where you’ll meet locals before they speed off to work, or aged retirees scrutinising the headlines on the dailies in disdain, or the occasional student-philosophers penning down their thoughts over a cup of Viennese Emperor. Order the Tirolerhof toast (toasted brown bread with ham, cheese and onions), with a side order of spicy sausages and top it all off with a cup of café Viennese Emperor. There is no better way to start off your day in Vienna than feeling like a King.

#2 Leopold Museum

Vienna isn’t just about Gustav Klimt. Maybe it was the Egon Schiele exhibition at the time I visited. But spending an afternoon at Leopold Museum immersed in Schiele’s work would inspire anyone to love the expression of art, no matter your major. He died at the tender age of 29 (three days after losing his wife to the Spanish Flu), but the pain and suffering he went through compelled him to express his forbidden thoughts onto his paintings. From him, one is able to see we are all human, and we have the same needs. Why forbid love, when love is and should be free for all?

#3 Have a drink, or five, at Banes Bar

It’s a tiny dark little black hole of a bar, much like le 10 Bar in Paris, where one walks right into the years gone by, where love happens easily and nights are long. You will be enchanted by an enigmatic boss lady, her eyes so deep you could drown in them, whose hands are as graceful as Odette in Swan Lake as she fixes your drink. When she looks at you, one could almost see the thousand hearts she has broken, including perhaps her own. She is a beauty, there is no doubt about it. She looks 50, but to me, I sense a soul that has gone through a thousand years old of solitude. I always see the same few regular customers – one with a dog so cute, I fed him a bone and shared my wine too. And as I stumbled out into the street at 4am in the morning, I felt my heart soar into the early morning wind. Life is too transient to be taken seriously.

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