New stuff and tired dancing

N got a new tail suit today! So exciting. He’s had his current one for almost ten years ๐Ÿ˜ฒ We got it made when we were in Hungary – in 2009! But it’s now getting to the point where he can longer really fit it. I can’t believe it’s lasted this long. Now I just have to get a new Ballroom dress and we’ll be good to go ๐Ÿ˜Š

I decided to try something different for lunch today: kway chap. I’d heard about it before but had never tried it, and when I saw it up on the board in the hawker centre that I was at today, I thought hey, why not? Today’s as good as any other day. Let’s go for it.

It was only after I had bought it and sat down that I decided to look up what is in this dish. This is the first thing that Google gave me:

So if after reading the intro, you’re still keen to try it, there are 11 best places suggested for you in that same article! ๐Ÿ˜Š I may just be joining you for dessert afterwards ๐Ÿ˜† It was one of those times when being adventurous just didn’t pay off for me. Oh well, you win some you lose some.

Oh and I finished two books today! I can finally tick off two books from my reading list – woohoo! ๐Ÿ‘ Now on to the other four that are currently on loan from the library… ๐Ÿ˜†

And then we rounded off the day with some dancing. Latin was falling apart, but I didn’t care too much coz I knew N was tired. He had another crazy early start this morning. So I was happy to just get through all the Latin choreographies relatively unscathed tonight.

Nespresso got me to learn some Chinese

I went and bought Nespresso capsules the other day, I forgot to mention it. They sometimes have these special packs of 8-10 different sleeves, and when I went this time ’round, they had a pack full of all the strong flavoured ones – ie all my favourites! So there was no hesitation, I bought it straight away.

When I got home and unpacked them to put them away, I discovered that this current promotion had a Chinese New Year theme. Yes, I can be that oblivious to advertising! I would be an advertiser’s nightmare ๐Ÿ˜‚ (although I’m sure they get me in other subliminal ways, those sly bastards hahaha). I should’ve known, though, since I live in Singapore and CNY is just around the corner!

Anyway, I also noticed that the sales assistant had given me a pack of red envelopes with my purchase! Those red envelopes that you’re supposed to put money in and give to kids and young adults. Our Chinese teacher said that the whole thing is rather stressful in China nowadays, with the amounts going in the envelopes getting exceedingly higher and higher, and that thankfully the craziness hasn’t reached Singapore (yet?!). I can imagine it being rather stressful if there are a ton of kids in your extended family. How in the world are you supposed to finance CNY if you’re putting in S$100+ in each envelope and there are a bajillion kids?! ๐Ÿ˜ณ

I actually give them to the security guards in our building here (not S$100, though! ๐Ÿ˜†) I think it’s a nice gesture to thank them for their work in keeping the place safe (even though it’s SG, I know! One of the safest countries in the world ๐Ÿ˜†) and just generally humming along, and also to wish them luck and prosperity for the year ahead.

I thought the red envelopes from Nespresso were quite pretty. And they also had some Chinese on them, which I couldn’t read/understand. This is one problem with learning to read Chinese, it’s not like you can just “sound it out”. You either know it or you don’t. Apparently you can sorta guess the meaning and pronunciation sometimes, based on the components in the character, but I’m not quite at that level yet…! They are getting us to practice that “guessing” in our textbook though, and it is pretty cool when I do figure it out correctly.

But having said that, I could in fact read one of the idioms and could figure out roughly what it was trying to say! ๐Ÿ‘

ไธ‡ไบ‹ๅคงๅ‰ (wร n shรฌ dร  jรญ) – I gave it a go and translated this as “may 10,000 big, lucky things come your way”. I looked it up afterwards and the dictionary translated it as “everything is fine”, “all is well with the world”. I think I prefer my version! ๐Ÿ˜Š Coz mine has more punch, and seems to be more in line with well wishes for CNY. That’s what I’ve slowly started to realise with the Chinese language: it is very rich and full of meaning, jam packed in just four words. I will ask our teacher to explain and get his idea on this particular idiom too ๐Ÿ˜Š

Anyhoo… Update on today: I’ve almost finished my current fiction novel Crazy Rich Asians. It’s quite funny, as some people have already told me. I can’t wait to find out what happens at the end! I wish I could read faster… Book 2 is already beckoning me ๐Ÿ˜†

I already have five other books on loan from the library too, four of which I’ve already started reading. Is that bad, reading so many books concurrently?? Or would you finish one book before starting another? It seems to be working fine for me at the moment. I tend to pick up whichever book I feel like reading at any given time. Two of the books are trading related though, so technically they’re more for my work, so it’s really just three that I’m reading for fun. I also have ten books already on my shortlist ๐Ÿ˜Š I’m definitely going to get good value from my library membership this year! ๐Ÿ‘

One of those โ€œadminโ€ days

I did a few “admin” stuff today – so basically errands hahaha Stuff that just keeps our lives chugging along. Totally exciting ๐Ÿ˜†

I did book tickets to The Father, though, an upcoming performance courtesy of Pangdemonium. It tackles dementia, and the audience apparently sees the world through the eyes of the sufferer (the father). I’m terribly excited to see it – but it’s in March! Soooo far away! ๐Ÿ˜ฉ

Although having said that, January is almost finished?!? Where in the world did it go?!? ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

I reviewed my progress on my goals today. Not bad, first month into the New Year. There are some habits that are just going gangbusters (eg writing in here on a daily basis is now well and truly embedded in my day), while others are a bit lacklustre (eg working on my languages goals have been very slow going). So next month I need to focus a bit more on those lagging behind a bit.

Speaking of next month, we have a few Aussie friends visiting! I’m terribly excited about that too! ๐Ÿ˜„

Second day trip to Malaysia

We went over to Malaysia for another day trip today. We’re becoming experts at this whole crossing over the bridge thing ๐Ÿ˜† Well, not quite. Read on. ๐Ÿ˜”

We had yet another productive day working on Ballroom. I feel like our waltz is much better now, even if I do say so myself ๐Ÿ˜Š The judges and our teacher may say otherwise, but I’m happy nonetheless. The other dances… well… They’re slowlyyy coming together too, I guess ๐Ÿ˜†

It started pouring just when we were about to head over to the immigration checkpoint to go back home, so we were concerned that the ridiculously long queues at immigration would be even worse. So we decided to hang out at one of the shopping malls near immigration and have dinner there, while we wait for the rain to subside. N decided to go and have a massage afterwards as well, while I just waited and wrote some of this post ๐Ÿ˜Š Why didn’t I get a massage too, you’re probably wondering. Good question! I guess they’re just not my thing, I’m not sure why. I’d much rather be spending that time reading or writing, which is exactly what I did.

Well waiting for the rain to subside didn’t seem to have helped. The trip home was a complete nightmare, and was definitely much longer than last week’s. The powers that be just wanted to give us a good experience the first time over, perhaps?! ๐Ÿค” There was queue after queue, and it took us over three hours to get home!! ๐Ÿ˜ฑEven with the special immigration pass (which we don’t have), although you skip the long queues at immigration, you would still have to queue up for a bus to get across the bridge. We actually considered walking across (which is probably a few kms) given the ridiculous queues for a bus. But we’d spent so much time in the snaking queue already that it felt it would be a waste to give up our spot after having already waited for about 45 minutes.

If the buses are in such short supply and you have to wait HOURS to get back home, I don’t understand why people would even bother to make this trip at all, unless it was out of sheer necessity. Or you’re on holidays. Yeah it’s cheaper over in Malaysia and all, but then you lose half your day/night just waiting in queues, so you pay for it with your time instead. Either way you pay. I guess it’s up to the individual how they want to pay.

At least it was a relatively cool day today, so we weren’t dying from the usual heat and humidity. Coz immigration isn’t very well air conditioned and the bus queues are OUTSIDE. At least the home stretch (SG immigration) is much cooler. And once on the SG side, the queue for our particular bus back home is considerably shorter than any of the other bus queues for some reason. And luckily we got the bus! Since everything took soooo long, we were concerned we’d miss the last bus for the day and we’d have to either wait yet again in one of the other queues or pay for a cab back home.

If we plan on doing this day trip more often in future, I’d have to do some more research on how to best get back to SG. Coz this ain’t cool. In all senses of the word.

Oh but on the upside, the public toilets at the shopping mall that we were at tonight weren’t too bad! Not great either, but not too bad ๐Ÿ˜† I was a bit hasty in generalising last time ๐Ÿ˜Š

Hermione and a trip to Bishan

It was a full house in Chinese class this morning. I think it was the first time this year that all of us were in the same room together ๐Ÿ˜ฒ I always wonder if the teacher gets frustrated with us. He asked if anyone had any questions with their homework, and the general response was “I didn’t do my homework” hahaha I was the only one who did my homework! I sometimes feel like a Hermione in that class ๐Ÿค“ So he quickly checked my homework, reading through in five seconds what took me probably at least an hour to do, omg. I guess it’d be the same if I was reading the equivalent in English so I shouldn’t be so surprised, but still! So I reckon we’re probably at primary school level, if that, so you can get a bit of an idea at what level we’re learning (ie pretty damn basic stuff! ๐Ÿ˜ณ)

We went to Bishan in the evening to go check out the karate national team selection, but apparently it was a closed door event (why?!), so that was a bit of a waste of a trip out there. So we had dinner in the area instead and just went home. That was a bit of a disappointing way to end the day. Hopefully our second trip back over the bridge to Malaysia tomorrow will be better ๐Ÿ˜Š

Getting ready for our next comp

I got my hair cut today. I gave myself some time between the haircut and the comp, to allow my hair to “grow into” it, if you know what I mean. It’s now back to being in a very short bob. I grew it out a little last year, coz we weren’t competing. But now that we’re back on the comp circuit (well, at least this one on 3 Feb… Let’s not get ahead of ourselves ๐Ÿ˜†), I needed my easy-to-manage hairstyle again. I find the hair, make-up and all the other grooming aspects of dancesport really tedious. It’s all about grabbing the judges’ attention and looking like you belong on the floor with the other couples. As if I want any attention! Hahaha If I had my way, I’d always just be dancing in a black top and skirt (or pants), and have minimal hair and makeup requirements. So that’s why I cut my hair short. It’s just easier to whack on a whole tub of gel and slick it back, rather than having to deal with pretty buns or chignons or whatever ๐Ÿ˜„ Luckily I like my hair short!

I also got my new Latin dress today. It’s second (or third or fourth?) hand, but I don’t mind, since the damn things are so expensive. I tried it on again today, and I only just noticed how revealing the back is, omg ๐Ÿ˜ฒ But that’s exactly what I’ve said about almost every Latin dress that I’ve owned hahaha Each one has been revealing in some way or other. It’s Latin, for crying out loud, it comes with the territory ๐Ÿ™„ Notwithstanding the revealing aspect of the back, I really like the dress! Now I’m hoping to get a Ballroom dress equivalent, as I like to have my two dresses look somewhat similar to each other. It makes me feel more like a ten dance dancer ๐Ÿ˜Š

We’re not expecting fantastic results at this comp, as it’s our first one in about twelve months. But at least I’ll look the part, even if our dancing doesn’t!๐Ÿคฃ

A deluge of happiness and excitement

Man, today was one helluva deluge of good things! It would’ve been nice to have gotten all the good news sprinkled throughout the week, so that all the happiness and excitement could’ve been more evenly spread out, rather than this one huge spike today. Nonetheless, good news is good news so I’ll take it however way it comes! ๐Ÿ˜†

N had a very early start today, having left the house probably close to 6:30am for a 7am meeting. For a night owl like me, that is just inhumane hahaha But apparently the cost of the trains at that ridiculous time was about 1/3 the normal price. A third! And a train ticket is something like 80 cents normally anyway, so 1/3 of that is pennies! Ok slight exaggeration, but you get my point: it’s freaking CHEAP AS!! Hahaha Very impressive!

So anyway, his getting ready in the wee hours of this morning obviously interrupted my own slumber, and once he left, I just went straight back to sleep.

I was woken up a few hours later – by Kitty throwing up ๐Ÿคฎ And it was at this time that I remembered that we had her vet appointment today – which then dawned on me, after checking what the time was, that I had to get ready ASAP in order to get there on time. I also had to allow for some time to clean up her spew, which thankfully isn’t part of my usual morning routine ๐Ÿ˜† so there was no time for breakfast for either of us.

And wouldn’t you know it, she knew once again that we were going to the vet today! She was hiding under the couch, as has been her routine the last two mornings that we’ve gone to the vet. It was lucky that I just happened to accidentally drop something that magically flew under the couch today, which was what coaxed her out. I didn’t have to prod her out or anything today phewww ๐Ÿ˜… I nabbed her before she could find yet another hiding spot, and quickly put her into her carrier. Such a cheeky little one!

While I was getting ready to go to the vet, I received a text from Asus saying that my laptop was ready. O-M-G. FINALLY. After what felt like almost a month, it is finally ready. OK, I just checked, it’s exactly three weeks to this day. That’s a looonnnggg time without a laptop, man. So of course I am now totally keen to do some trading stuff that I haven’t been able to do on the iPad (or stuff that I just prefer doing on my laptop). Sooo happyyy! I should put on a trade in celebration ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰ hahaha!

And then, as if the stars are in perfect alignment, I got confirmation that my registrations for various trading accounts have now been confirmed! So after getting stuffed around for over a month now, I am getting that little bit closer to trading cryptos…!! ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

Seriously, all this good news is just a bit too much for one day!

Of course, one piece of bad news has to help balance it all out: our neighbours have returned ๐Ÿ˜ž They’re overseas uni students, apparently, and they have no concept of how to behave in a foreign country:

  • I’ve seen spilt coffee or tea just outside their front door, which they didn’t even bother to clean up;
  • They leave their shoes strewn all over the PUBLIC area outside their front door;
  • A few of them got a bit physical out in the corridor once ๐Ÿ˜ฒ We must’ve been overseas when this happened, coz we didn’t hear the commotion. But remnants of blood on the wall alerted us, so of course we told security, who then proceeded to tell us about the fight. Security too have obviously had issues with them.

So no, I’m not terribly impressed that uni is starting back up soon ๐Ÿ˜” It’s been so peaceful this month when they’ve all been away…

But despite their return, I will definitely have to count today as a kickass awesome day ๐Ÿ‘

A tired Quickstep and Jive

I struggled a bit today. Firstly I was very tired and lethargic for some reason. I thought I had a pretty good night’s sleep, but I just never quite felt normal at any point during the day ๐Ÿ˜‘

It probably helped during dancing though! Just letting muscle memory take over and not worry so much about the choreography or technique or anything else, and just allow my body to relax and just perform. We had a good Ballroom lesson; and then afterwards, we did a few good practice runs of four of the five Latin dances (since we can’t remember our Paso Doble choreography! Argh!). And can you believe it: we did my two least favourite dances today, one from each style hahaha Quickstep and Jive. Wahhhh! What a double whammy ๐Ÿ˜ฉ I’m glad we did them, though, as we hardly ever practice them ๐Ÿ˜Š It was good to get some feedback on how we’re progressing (or more like not progressing ๐Ÿ˜‚) with each of them.

Hopefully I can get a better night’s sleep tonight…

Japanese groceries and an expensive membership fee

I went to Meidiya today, a Japanese grocery store here. In similar vein to the salt (see yesterday’s post ๐Ÿ˜†), we’d also run out of brown rice ๐Ÿ˜ณ and Meidiya stocks the brand that I like. Ironically though, I bought a completely different brand anyway ๐Ÿคช

I was also hoping that they stocked this matcha au lait instant coffee that I first tried in Japan when we were there last year. It’s like a latte but infused with matcha green tea flavour. I can’t remember if I mentioned it? But I absolutely loved it and I couldn’t get enough of it while we were there. So I told myself to go and check Meidiya when we return to SG to see if they stocked it there.

img_5327-1 And they do! I found it! I was so excited! But I’d already had two coffees today, which is already double what I normally have, so I have to leave the matcha au lait for another day. That is, tomorrow ๐Ÿ˜Š

I also decided to FINALLY become a library member today. I don’t know why it took me so long to make this decision. I think it was the relatively expensive annual fee levied on foreigners here. I’ve never had to pay for library membership before, so it was quite a mental obstacle for me to overcome. But one of my goals this year is to read more, and paying the annual fee will be much cheaper than buying all the books that I want to read. Further, I now feel compelled to read even more, just to make sure I get my money’s worth from this annual fee that I just paid.

So I borrowed this book on trading that I’ve been wanting to read for aaaages now. And based on the price on Amazon, I would almost have already paid for my library membership with this one book alone. So I’m not feeling too bad anymore ๐Ÿ˜Š But yes, the downside is that I can’t make notes like I would be able to in my own copy. Nor can I just go back to it for future reference. So borrowing these sorts of books may not be the best thing, but for now, making my own notes while I’m reading will have to suffice. It’s also making me finish the book as quickly as possible, as I have to return it in three weeks’ time. So hopefully as the year progresses, I’ll get through a whole heap of books (ideally more than what I thought would be possible for me to finish in a year ๐Ÿ˜‰), and eventually get a good return from this “investment” of mine ๐Ÿ˜Š

Smart Kitty and a lack of resources

Kitty and I made our biweekly trip to the vet this morning. She now somehow knows that we are going to the vet. She’ll be happily sitting with me on the couch in the living room while I have my morning coffee, and then when I come back out into the living room after getting changed, she’s nowhere to be found. I’ve now discovered where she hides: under the couch! She hardly ever goes under there unless she’s scared, eg when there’s a thunderstorm happening outside, she may sit under there to hide. But now, she seems to be starting a habit of “resting” under there, just before we have to go see her doctor. Hmmm… Coincidence? With her, I think not ๐Ÿ˜‚ Let’s see what she does on Thursday when we next go to the vet…

We have run out of salt hahaha I am such an under-buyer that I have waited until we’ve completely run out of salt before I will go and buy more ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ Our dinner may now be a tad under seasoned as a result…

Oh and my laptop is STILL under repair omg. It has been almost a month now and I feel like I’ve done next to nothing on my trading as a result. I’ve done a little bit, but nowhere near as much as I would have if I had my laptop. Sighhh… Hopefully soon, very soon…