Sunday, December 25, 2005
Finally, I'm back to report on my life as a Singaporean. Yikes...I wonder how long must I backtrack till...
20 December 05 - Food n Shopping Excursion to Malaysia
Start - 8.30am Stop 1 - Gelang Patah toilets and stocking up on car snacks.
Stop 2 - Pontian "Heng Heng" wanton mee and otah. STRICTLY NO LEFTOVERS!!
Stop 3 - Pontian relaxing yet cheap chinese massage.
Stop 4 - Pontian city centre to shop, eat melting ice cream and kaya toast. EATING AGAIN.
Stop 5 - Pekan Nanas plant nursery, road-side fruit store and 3 sleeping beauties.
Stop 6 - Johor Bahru shopping at City Square. Sorry, too busy shopping, didn't have time to take pics, but here's a photo of us leaving the mall.
Stop 7 - JB Sentosa road side food stalls for dinner. BEFORE AND AFTER. Now this is the way to eat!
Stop 8 - More shopping, insane causeway traffic jam then home.
21 December 2005 - A Different Kind Of Shopping.
Pear and I went shopping on Wednesday, but it's not the normal kind of shopping. The theme was entirely different and very much out of our expertise. But I was very impressed with our efficiency!!
We bought 2 tennis rackets, 1 sports shoes, and a pair of googles in an hour!! It was record breaking time considering that there were so many sports shops around for price comparisons and you could bargain with them on prices.
That night, I stayed over at Pear's place. While her mum, Junren and friends played mahjong, Pear and I did some bimbo bonding over hair, make-up and everything girlish! Here's some photos to entertain you!
Contrast: With and Without
Contrast: Day and Night
Contrast: Pear and Raine
22 December 2005 - More You-Know-What.
Yes, more eating and shopping...LIFE IS GOOD.
23 December 2005 - A Different Kind Of Work-Out.
On Friday, Pear, Junren and their friend Zeyun came over to my grandpa's place and we played doubles. See...that's why we went tennis racket shopping!! It all makes sense now doesn't it?
Tennis was fun, but it seemed like we were constantly picking up balls...goes to show our skills are 'fantastic'!! Of course the guys played better while Pear and I 'bai siew'ed (singlish for 'standing and looking pretty'). It was good fun and after that, we went for lunch and watched Narnia!! It's an alright to goodish movie, since I didn't have any expectations of the movie.
24 December 2005 - Carolers at The Florida.
On Christmas Eve, carolers filled our house with glorious music.
25 December 2005 - TODAY!!
The church Christmas dinner tonight was alright, but the company was great. Pear, Junren and their friend Zeyun joined us on this festive day...
MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! Ho Ho Ho!!
Thursday, December 22, 2005
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
So what did we go shopping for? We went electronic goods shopping. Laura got a new camera - actually, I wanted a new camera as well, but the guy kept on promoting this camera by the brand Ricoh and though it meets and exceeds all my requirements, I didn't fancy the brand - yes, I'm a sucker for renowned brands like Canon, Sony, and Olympus. But now, after playing around with Laura's camera at home (zooming down from the 15th floor to the playground and getting a very clear snap shot), I have to admit - I'M IMPRESSED. Perhaps we'd go back tomorrow and purchase another - hee hee - Raine and her indecisiveness.
However, I was rather impressed with myself and how quick I decided on my new laptop - I LOVE IT. It has all the specifications I wanted and at a reasonable price - I wouldn't know if it was the best price I could get, but I was impressed. I'm not one to search for the best price. If you sell it to me right - and if I'm impressed with the brand - you've got the sale. Though the cameraman did sell the Ricoh really well, but I just wasn't impressed - however, it didn't take me long to regret my stubborness and now, I WANT THAT CAMERA.
We also came out of the shop a multipurpose printer richer. It's a 4 functions in one printer with scanner, printing, photocopying and with multi-cameracard slots.
Apart from those electronic goods, I also bought 3 CDs - all SHINHWA. Making up for the many years of being away from Singapore and away from the availability of Korean CDs.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
I survived Day 1 in Singapore with flying colours!
The weather was insanely warm and it was a constant battle to remain cool. I also conquered the cockroaches that were lying on the floor on our way to breakfast. I managed to sleep through the night on the floor of our bedroom. Yes, the floor coz Grandpa's house is a little over-crowded (Uncle John and family are occupying the other room while my family took the other). I survived the busy Orchard Road and the swamps of people.
And my reward...abso-bloody-lutely FANTASTIC!!
I had Wanton Mee for breakfast, the famous Nasi Lemak at Changi for lunch, and amazing duck, char siew and siew york rice with yummy gravy and lots of chilli for dinner. I went shopping at Orchard Road - need I say more. But the best reward...the this-person-is-very-familiar look on Pear's face when I surprised her after work and then went over to her place to hang, did some cell phone shopping together (nope, didn't find a cell phone that shouted out to me, the picky shopper) and I also watched Full House Episode 1 - Pear's fav Korean Drama serial at the moment. Plus, I made my first buy on Monday - a $2 yellow basket to put all my toiletries.
Saturday, December 10, 2005
Random picture with a friend's brother's friend: $0.40
Breath-taking scenery shots on-board a hired cruise: $2000 (or there abouts, for exact figures ask Janetta)
The smile on the birthday girl's face...
And the company of friends...
There are some things money can't buy, for everything else, get a Digicam!
Monday, December 05, 2005
But since I'm awake, I might as well make full use of my time, updating you on my short road trip to Taupo and Rotorua with Jasmon, Jacques, Lydia and Rachel.
We left on Saturday morning at 7.30am - yes, we were insane. The drive down was pleasant, but slightly worrying. We had scheduled for a 2pm skydive (yes, my second time in 6 months) at Taupo, but the weather did not seem to agree with us. The morning sky was overcast with many grey clouds and though it wasn't raining, clouds are a big NO-NO when sky diving. Of course, we were still 3+ hours away from Taupo so we remained hopeful. I didn't want to have to reschedule our skydive for the next day - weather permits - as precious holiday time would be wasted so I prayed hard and God answered. The weather was brillant in Taupo and we arrived in Taupo with plenty of time for a good meal and a Santa parade! What brillant luck and timing! While having lunch at a cafe - without knowing, we had sat ourselves at a prime spot with clear views of the parade - we managed to catch the entire Santa parade with all sorts of floats and procession, and of course, SANTA.
After watching the Santa parade, we proceeded to our skydiving destination. There, we got briefed, filled in our next of kin's contact number and Jas, Rachel and I signed our lives away upon the dotted lines. We geared up into the full jumpers and harnesses before take-off.
The skydive was AWESOME!!! I requested for flips as we jumped off the plane and the adrenalin rush was just as good as my first time, or even better because I could fully appreciate it the second time around. I had a brillant time in the sky and I have to say, "I'll be back!"
After the skydive, we headed over to Rotorua and checked in to our motel for the night. The next morning, we went to Skyline to ride the skyswing and the luge.
The skyswing is like this massive pendulum contraption where we are suspended horizontally in mid-air and with a tug on a rope to release, we are swung like a pendulum to and fro. I rode with Jas and Jacques. Here's us preparing to strap ourselves to our seats.
I was left incharge of pulling the rope and releasing us from the wire that was holding us back. When we reached the top and the man gave us the greenlight to release, I tugged and tugged at the rope to no avail, screaming in my seat, "I can't pull. I can't release us!" The rope refused to budge. Jas reached over to help me and with a yank, we plunged - I was too absorbed in my struggle that the release caught me off-guard and I screamed for a second while Jacques sweared at the sudden plunge. But once the big plunge was over, we cheered at how awesome that adrenalin rush was.
After the skyswing, we did a couple of luge rides before breaking for lunch. The afternoon was spent Zorbing. Zorbing is TOTALLY COOL! We did the hydro zorb. A zorb is an enormous clear plastic, air-cushioned ball with a hollow centre. With the hydro zorb, the hollow centre is filled with a little bit of water so that the innner surface is slippery. Once inside, you are rolled along a zigzag path down a hill, slushing and rolling around in water. I lost all sense of direction in the ball while I was tossed and turned. It was AWESOME, I couldn't wipe the grin off my face the whole journey down the hill!! Now, I know exactly how it feels to be in a washing machine. IT'S BLOODY FANTASTIC!!!
On our way back from the Zorb, we stopped by at some geysers to bask in the smell of 'rotten eggs'. That Sunday evening, us girls had a nice hot 'spaing' session in our motel spa to wind down.
This morning, we checked out of our motel and headed back to Auckland, stopping over at Wahii for the best pancakes ever - a brillant way to close our short yet adrenalin-filled weekend.
Monday, November 28, 2005
Friday, November 25, 2005
It looks like God has sprayed a layer of shimmering dust all over the earth's surface, sparking from every angle.
The lights from every window and every street lamp seems to glow more brightly.
The different sound of each raindrop as it hits the surface harmonises to a beautiful tune.
The smell of the fresh rain, combined with nature's greenest creates an aroma that can't be described in words.
The feeling of each raindrop landing on your face gives a tingly chill that makes you want to giggle in numbness.
The little skip and hop that comes naturally brings back childhood memory.
The amazing satisfaction of finally doing it: walking in the rain.
But the most beautiful thing about it at night is when the cars drive by, they can't see the silly childish grin that wipes across my wet glistening face.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Hostage Situation (1) - Traffic Lights
Morning rush hour is never nice...butI've always handled it well, except for today. I was held hostage at almost every traffic light on my way to work, which is not a good start to the day. Panicking and racing against the clock is a deadly experience.
Hostage Situation (2) - Batra Shoes
Nearing the end of the day, I went over to a client's place to take a couple of photos. I was gravely mistaken. Two photos turned into 12 photos, and to get the right photo required several trail shots taken, so you do the math! I was there till 5.30pm - that's half an hour OT!! The OT fact wouldn't have bugged me if not for the fact that I had to rush home and help prepare ingredients for the steamboat session we were having at cell group tonight. That really played on my nerves and I was starting to loose my cool with my client. Honestly, my facial expression went from one of friendly to accommodating with dagger eyes when he's not looking.
Hostage Situation (3) - Traffic Jams
Don't you hate it when you are pressed for time and you are due back home 45 minutes ago, the roads just happen to be more congested than other days!! It is down-right irritating. It's irritating to the point where you don't care if the other route is longer, as long as you are not sitting and waiting at the same old traffic light.
Yep...I think I'm pretty well-trained at being held hostage now. Tips: A lot of screaming (in my head and sometimes not), and the constant monitoring of the time.
Saturday, November 12, 2005
The fact that they didn't have the complete set wasn't the worst part. The worst was when I found a legit site that actually sold it (the most popular online shop ever: Amazon), I couldn't understand a single word on the site coz it was Amazon.de (everything was in Deutsch). I had so much trouble translating it, I had no clue if the show was in German, if there was any subtitles, or how to purchase. But I was lucky. Nikiyoko has a German friend who managed to translate the site to me...and then the major let down. It was dubbed in German, no subtitles. POOZ.
It's like I'm not fated to watch it.
Even if mum's taking some of my clothes, Laura's taking - hopefully - much of my clothes, dad doesn't really have that much clothes to bring (wouldn't that the ideal?), and Nigel's helping out with one luggage, I'm still SCREWED! (Not a nice word, but that's how I feel!)
- I've still got more of my own clothes - why do I buy buy and keep buying? Character flaw of a shoppaholic.
- I've got heavy, bulky and thick winter clothes to bring back - I've got to wear something in the FREEZING UK and still look good on camera!!
- Kangta, FlytotheSky, Shinhwa and H.O.T. are coming along with me on the plane - in my hand-carry, staying very close to me.
- I've got important documents to bring back - CV and a lifetime worth of certs - as well as my framed grad cert and grad photo album which weighs a ton!
- I've got books to bring back - bible, diaries, korean dictionary, some lifetime books...oh my gosh and the list goes on!
- I've got my bedtime necessities - pillow x2, playboy blanket, bolster x2, and of course, Metyu and Toffee.
- And there's my pampering and beautifying necessities - Kerastase shampoo and conditioner, my collection of earrings, necklaces and the like, my bottles of perfume and make-up.
And the list goes on!!
- Sob, my photo albums might need to be put on hold.
- My Liu Xing Hua Yuan VCDs, comics and all other VCDs will have to be neglected.
- I'll have to leave some bags and handbags behind.
- Won't be able to play any golf without my golf set - and of course a handicap but that's beside the point.
- No rollerblading.
- No beanbag to beautify my room - sob!!
- My beautiful collection of Barbies and contrasting Lego Bionicles that I've spent tons on will serve the purpose of collecting dust.
- Oh and I'll have to desert my Backstreet Boys, 98 Degrees, Christina Aguilera, V6, Dao Ming Si (aka Jerry Yan), Zai Zai, Vaness, etc.
*With her left hand reaching for her forehead*
OH!!! HOW WILL I COPE??
Friday, November 11, 2005
To those who are stressed out...
To those who feel as if there's no time...
To those who feel like giving up...
To those who need to concentrate but have too many distractions...
To those who have a 'rats' situation...
Here's a big shout out to you:
I hope this brightens up your day and make all your worries and stresses go away, perhaps it's only temporary, but I do hope it makes you feel as if you CAN conquer the world!
Thursday, November 10, 2005
1) It's a sport that starts with an 'S', just like Swimming, Squash, and many more.
2) It's absolutely FUN!
3) There's definitely an adrenalin rush!
4) It's a high maintenance sport (just like Golf, Sky Diving and the like).
5) It can be played solo, or as a team effort. It's often more fun in teams, though there are exceptions.
6) It requires stamina (like in cross country marathons), patience (like in fishing), a sharp eye (like in disc shooting), and perseverance (like in most sports).
7) And it can be themed as well (like a PLAYBOY theme). HUH??
Today, I scored 2!! WHOOHOO! Yes, 2 is a good accomplishment, especially when one is a gorgeous pink and black Playboy pyjamas (20% OFF at Farmers), and another is a hot and yet cute as Playboy short shorts (No discount but totally worth it)! I LOVE LOVE LOVE SHOPPING!!
And I guess I shall share with you some photos we took at Omaha beach last Saturday as well!!
Sunday, November 06, 2005
Saturday, November 05, 2005
It's just amazing, looking out of our window, we can see fireworks being set off at every corner of Auckland and perhaps the entire NZ. And though we only bought a little box of fireworks, we got to share in the joy of the colourful millions that are happening all around us as we speak, or type.
Coming from Singapore, where fireworks are only let off during the National Day Parade - once a year and only by authorised personnel, having the liberty to play with fireworks at our own backyard is a privilege that I almost overlooked. The first year we came to NZ, we were enthusiastic in regards to this opportunity to decorate the sky with beautiful sparkles. We bought quite a lot of fireworks and spent the dear amount in just minutes. And the following 3 years, we didn't play it again, only to admire from our kitchen window. Why? Perhaps it was far too costly (money could have been better spent elsewhere), perhaps it was because the novelty wore off (not such a privilege anymore since we were allowed to), or perhaps the size of the explosions were just not big enough (it just didn't have the WOW factor).
But this year, having probably the last opportunity to set off some fireworks, Daddy bought a tiny $6 pack with 5 blasting balls to entertain me. We set off to the field across our house and as the fine rain drizzled down upon us, we joined the many other families in this big beautification project. And there, I remembered the feeling. The feeling of joy and child-like excitement from just one little pathetic blasting ball that lasted 2 seconds as it shot up into the sky, the smiles that lit across all our faces, and sharing the moment with family.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Today, I tried something different. A double shot - could have gone with a single but NOOOOOOOOO. Greedy really.
WOOOHHHHHH! It got me straight in the head. The first sip had an amazing lifting effect and every subsequent mouthful of it was devine.
Right after drinking it, I felt high, light-headed and - WOOH - empowered!! Then came wooziness and dehydration - I gulped down 2 glasses of water. But right now, my head feels heavy, and I just want to collaspe into a deep sleep. I think I've got a little hangover coz my head's just feeling so out-of-place and my vision is blurring up and I just want to shut light out.
But I'm converted.
I LOVE ESPRESSOS!!!!!
Saturday, October 29, 2005
Friday, October 28, 2005
In recent breaking news, Managerman approached soon to resign Banner Girl for her one last mission.
Within just this year alone, the Man Courier has requested Banner Girl to redesign their Entertainment & Leisure Banner, SouthDrive Banner, and the Education & Training Banner. Not only that, she's been called to revamp the feature banners for: Mother's Day, Father's Day, Party Planner and the Home & Garden Show. Also, Banner Girl even introduced some of her own creations: Travel Destinations, The Weekender/Weekend Specials, and the Southern Gig Guide.
During his request for help, Managerman told Banner Girl that the Man Courier needs her to do one last banner before she leaves, which is the only banner in the Thursday issue that hasn't been revamped - Medical Health & Beauty Feature Banner.
In an interview, Managerman shared about his confrontation with Banner Girl. He told her that she's saved 95% of the banners for the Man Courier and she's done such a great job at it, she can't just leave without vamping that last banner.
Banner Girl announced in a press conference that she's honoured to be given this last banner to redesign and will do her best.
A trusted source from the Man Courier notified us, saying, "Redesigning a banner is a tough job, it requires lots of creativity and marketing know-how. On one hand, you want the banner to be as creative as possible, but you also have to balance this with the preferences of their business clients and also the readers' demographics as well. It's not an easy task."
So will Banner Girl carry out her last mission successfully? Does she have enough creativity in her to finish this last job? Will this REALLY be her final mission?
To Be Continued...
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Today however, you can call it a change of heart, but I reckon, deep down in my heart, my love for softball never ever ceased. When I went to pick Zac up from his t-ball training (kids version of softball where they hit the ball off a t-stand), the older teens were having softball training at the next field as well. Watching them bought back so many memories of my training days at NY. A part of me just wanted to lift a bat up and play it all over again.
I miss our loud voices as we shout across the field to each other.
I miss the way coach said my name "ROR-RAN" and how both Ruo Yan ("ROR-YAN") and I would turn around at the same time.
I miss the perfect high-balls coach always gave, it still amazes me how accurate he was all the time.
I miss watching the way coach caught softballs fearlessly and wishing that one day, I'll be fearless too.
I miss the way we toiled under the sun, wishing that coach remembered that training was supposed to end an hour ago.
I miss the way we groaned and moaned about that extra 5 minutes of training but when coach called it a day, we would stay on to continue playing some softball.
I miss the times when us pitchers and catchers would go off to our secluded corner and bitch while we pitched.
I miss how it's okay for pitchers to be tagged out at a base if being safe meant risking injuries and scratches in sliding.
I miss the challenging pitches coach hurls at us as we strive to - at least - hit the ball.
I miss the cheers from my team-mates when I've made a good hit.
I miss the adrenalin rush when you get safely to first base, only to find out that you've got 3 more bases before you're safely home.
I miss how coach screams his lungs out at me about a mistake I made during a match, but 5 minutes later, he's all friendly and encouraging.
I miss coach's "MONKEY YOU!" when we messed up or fooled around.
I miss coach's lame old jokes, how he tells it over and over again and how we laugh each time, sometimes at him for telling it again and sometimes along with him.
I miss skipping lessons because of softball matches.
I miss our sliding-in-the-rain practices, can you believe this!
I MISS SFTBALL.