A few pleasant surprises

N left at some ridiculously early hour this morning – something like 6am! – and when I asked him why he was leaving so early (I presumed coz of some stupid early meeting again), I thought he said “phone”. But I was half asleep, and no doubt he was too, so I just left it at that cryptic response and went back to sleep.

It turns out that he went back to the karate venue where they were training last night to go and get his work phone, which he left there last night! Crazy stuff. The lights were all switched off, apparently, which I can completely understand: it’s the middle of the night! πŸ˜‚ And yes, he got his phone back! πŸ‘

After a shite trading session (argh!), we went and had our usual Ballroom lesson. We didn’t do Quickstep! 😲 That was a pleasant surprise. I thought our teacher may want to focus on it for the next few weeks since it’s our weakest dance, but apparently he still wants to make sure the other dances are still progressing nicely. So we ended up doing Waltz today 😊

We ended up having a quick dinner down at the hawker centre near the dance studio: S$3 for chicken rice! 😲 We couldn’t make dinner for that cheap. The portions aren’t huge, but adequate for me. I just can’t get over how cheap this place was! That’s what you get when you go to a local joint πŸ‘ Makes paying S$6 at the touristy hawker centres a total rip offπŸ˜‚

Sick

I’m sick! Boohoo! I have no idea what I have or where I caught it. I woke up with a headache, how does that happen?! A headache and a sore throat. The headache got worse, and I ended up throwing up this afternoon. Isn’t that fantastic. But I hadn’t eaten much today, so not much came up at all, but still, never a good sign when things are coming back up. The headache subsided, but never truly went away.

I still wonder what the difference is between a headache and a migraine. I suspect I had the latter today. But somehow I got some energy back this evening, and managed to finish season three of Game of Thrones 😊

I spent pretty much the entire day sleeping, so I didn’t get to catch up and say goodbye to my Aussie friends, who were flying back to Sydney today. I hope they had a good time in Singapore.

Last dinner in SG

N worked from home today, which was both good and bad πŸ˜† Good coz it was nice to have him in the house, even if we barely talked the entire day, since we were both working; and bad coz it was actually a bit distracting having him there! He’s constantly on the phone, so I was always conscious of any noise that I was making – and I have alerts constantly going off throughout the day, as prices reach certain levels. And I also have time-based alarms! And making coffee, breakfast, lunch; doing laundry… Noise, noise and more noise! I know it can still be quite noisy in the office too, but it’s just different noise. Maybe I was just picturing this scenario a bit too vividly… πŸ˜‚

And then in the evening, I took the Aussie clan to Newton Circus for their last dinner in SG. It’s a pretty impressive layout, actually, once you walk in. It’s sorta like Lau Pa Sat, with stall after stall of various dishes, but it doesn’t feel as touristy (even though it still is). We had a feast: we ordered chilli crab with the mandatory buns, satay sticks, dumplings and rojak. As per usual, I forgot to take a photo of the food, nor of us πŸ˜” Too busy stuffing my face! 🀣

After dinner, we caught the train to Orchard, and walked down from ION Orchard towards Dhoby Ghaut, stopping by for an ice cream SANDWICH along the way! People have been going on about this ice cream sandwich, and in the three years that we’ve lived here, I had yet to try it. And since they were game, I figured this was my chance to try it too 😊 We had the choice between a wafer thin biscuit or a slice of bread, and I chose the bread, since that’s what people always go on about.

It actually wasn’t bad! The bread isn’t like your usual slice of bread that you have with jam or vegemite or marmalade, which was what I was expecting. The bread is sweeter, more like Bread Top, if you’ve eaten the bread from there before. So the flavour isn’t as stark as I was expecting it to be. Nonetheless, it’s still a slice of bread, so I still don’t quite get the culinary partnership…

It was a fun evening. Hopefully it was a memorable way to spend their last night in SG 😊

A balancing act

We went to the Night Safari today. It was a good night to go, actually: there weren’t too many people there tonight; quite a few of the animals were up and about; and it was also a very pleasant balmy evening (probably why so many of the animals were up and about! 😊).

We skipped Ballroom practice this afternoon, though, because we knew we’d have a late night tonight. It’s always tough balancing hanging out with friends while they’re here and also continuing to do our usual stuff.

It’s particularly hard when your work is not a typical one, like mine, where you don’t have a place that you need to be at every day. My office is at home, and I am the boss. So it’s hard for me to find the right balance between making sure I get my work done (as well as continuing my day-to-day routine) but also spending time with family and friends while they’re in town, family/friends who I don’t see as much these days. Both my work and my family/friends are important to me, so I always feel like I end up neglecting one or the other, and I never feel like I get the balance right…

I wonder what other people do to manage their time in these types of situations…

Friends and sore cheeks

We met up with our Sydney friends for lunch at Lau Pa Sat, and then headed over to Gardens by the Bay (AGAIN! I’ve gone three times in as many weeks πŸ˜†). We didn’t really finish going through the Flower Dome before we had to leave to go and watch the lion dance out by the Supertrees. We watched up close and personal today. Not sure if I liked being that close… I think I preferred being a little farther away so that I could appreciate the lion and not be able to see the guys operating underneath.

We were meeting up with other friends for dinner, so we let them return to the Flower Dome to finish it off, and then to also go through Cloud Forest.

After dinner, we then headed over to the Indoor Stadium to watch Russell Peters live! He was great: engaged with the audience and included a handful of audience members into his show. He was great fun. And even the opening act, Jake Johannsen, was awesome. My cheeks were sore at the end of the evening from all the laughing and smiling.

It was a good night (and day!) πŸ‘

Animals, animals and more animals

My friends from Sydney and I went to Singapore Zoo today. It’s out in the sticks, but it is so totally worth the effort to go out there. The zoo is really well designed, with large enclosures for the animals, and lots of trees to help keep the place relatively cool for visitors. It’s clean, and the animals and their homes are also in immaculate condition. We didn’t get to visit all the animals today, but what we did see was very impressive.

We also decided to go to the River Safari next door. In contrast to the zoo, this place is very peaceful, with a boardwalk essentially lining the outskirts of the inlet. But the highlight of this place are the pandas! They are just the cutest! They have two giant black and white pandas named Kai Kai and Jia Jia, and these guys are totally worth a visit. There are other animals here, of course, but these giant pandas were definitely the highlight for me.

Jia Jia demolishing this piece of bamboo!

And then we finished the day joining N for dinner at Food Opera at ION Orchard, one of the food courts down on basement level 4 (yes, the malls have multiple basement levels, if you haven’t had the pleasure of walking through the rabbit warrens of the Orchard Road malls πŸ˜‚).

I became a Friend of Wildlife today 😊 Amongst other things, I get unlimited entry into the four wildlife parks for one year. Since I was going into at least three of them with my friends who are here this week, and then I’ll probably go again when another friend visits next month, I would’ve already saved on entry costs just with these two visits. And then if I want to go again sometime during the year, then I can do that too. It could be my new Gardens by the Bay 😊 But let’s not be too hasty and dethroning Gardens just yet… πŸ˜‰

I am now a Friend of Wildlife 😊 

So it was a fun but draining day, spending most of it outdoors in the SG heat🌞

Losing weight and my β€œfavourite” dances

Kitty and I went to the vet again this morning. She’s been eating quite a fair bit, more so than she used to, but when the vet weighed her today, she hasn’t gained any weight, and hasn’t gotten back any of the weight that she lost while we were away late last year. I hope there isn’t something else wrong with her πŸ˜” As per usual, we just have to keep monitoring her to see how she goes over the next few weeks. Poor little one.

And then in the evening, we did a bit of dance practice, again focusing on my two “favourite” dances, Quickstep and Jive. Can you believe it: after I was complaining last night about how we just can’t do this particular section of the choreography to music, we were getting pretty damn close today! I was so excited! πŸ‘ It’s not great dancing, but at least it’s a step in the right direction, that’s the important thing. Hopefully it’ll all be good by mid-March, when our next comp is – which isn’t all that far away! 😲

Being a dancing tourist

It was a pretty chilled day. I caught up with my friends for lunch at Suntec City, my friends who flew in from Sydney yesterday. And then we walked over to Marina Bay Sands and headed up to the viewing deck up on L56. You get an awesome view of Gardens by the Bay from up there, so purteee…

We then wandered around the Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands and caught a lion dance! They were “blessing” (is that how you describe it?!) one of the stores, and we stuck around and watched the whole performance. Always quite fun to watch 😊

And we finished the evening with our usual dancing. Jive is still so damn fast… sighhh… As much as I like a particular section (and the fact that I even like a section is impressive), we may have to change that part of the choreography. Which is a bit sad, because I rarely (if ever) use the word like to describe Jive! πŸ˜‚ And if we can’t get this section up to speed, then we just have to replace it. But in the meantime, we just have to keep working on it…

Food courts in SG

One of my friends from Sydney and her partner arrived in SG today. Of course I tracked her flight 😊

She’s staying on Orchard Road (or just off it?), so we decided to catch up for dinner near her hotel. We went to a food court, which is now pretty stock standard for me, but it must be a different experience when you’re going to one in SG for the first time. I should’ve written about how I felt when I visited one when we first arrived. I was probably blown away by the cheap prices! Which are still expensive compared to the hawker centres, but yes, you are paying for airconditioning and usually fancier surrounds. And the lack of tissues. And that drinks are NOT served at the stalls, there is always a dedicated stall for them. And the one that I still can’t really get over: not having to clean up after yourself, because there are staff specifically for that. This one still makes me a little uncomfortable, after spending years (decades?) always cleaning up my food court meals after I’ve finished eating, it still feels weird just getting up and leaving all my crap on the table. I still tidy it up and make it easier for the cleaning staff, so at least I’m still helping in some way 😊 There you go, my ten-second version of what I reckon I thought back then πŸ˜‚

I think they’re just going to wander around and maybe do the hop-on-hop-off bus tomorrow, so maybe I can join them for lunch or something. Hopefully they have good weather, especially if they get on the topless bus! πŸ˜‚

CNY Day 4 – Monday after the long weekend

We took our usual trip to the vet this morning. The clinic was busy as! The vet nurse said that there were a ton of walk-ins this morning, after the Chinese New Year long weekend. She said that she was barely awake yet, implying that she wasn’t quite ready to handle all the commotion first thing on a Monday morning after a long weekend. I completely understand!

I had remembered that there was a lion dance scheduled today at the Centrepoint, one of the malls on Orchard Road, so I made my way over. But when I got there, I had obviously incorrectly remembered the time: I thought it was at 11am, but apparently it was at 1pm! Argh! So I had two hours to kill 😩 I hadn’t eaten breakfast yet, so I really wasn’t in the mood for lunch at my usual haunts in this mall – including Bak Kut Teh! So I went to Starbucks, always my last resort πŸ˜‚

There were a ton of students here, supposedly studying. I know what it’s like being a student. You guys are doing jack hahaha There were four students sitting nearby, with others scattered at the farther tables. Out of the four students sitting around me: one was watching some funny show on her phone, I could hear her cacking every now and then; and another two were just chatting. The fourth one looked like she was the only one doing anything actually productive. Although maybe she was just better at hiding her phone from me, as she sat the farthest away πŸ˜‚ Ahhhh… to be a carefree student again.

And just some more evidence as to how safe this country is: the student watching that funny show on her phone walked away from her table for at least half an hour – and left almost all of her belongings at her table. Her bag, her notes, her jacket, her calculator, her pens and pencil case. She might have just taken her phone and wallet with her, wherever she wandered off to. And no one even noticed, nor even come around. In fact, I ended up leaving Starbucks before she even came back, so I don’t actually know for how long she was gone. Total amaze balls. The only other country you could probably do this in is Japan.

While I was waiting for the lion dance, I tried being a student role model and did some review of my Chinese 😊 I didn’t have my textbook with me, nor did I bring earphones, so I couldn’t review the current chapter that we’re working through nor do any listening practice, so I just worked on reviewing vocab. Anything is better than nothing!

And then I spent the rest of the day working on my trading, which is still full of frustration and anguish… One day it will all come together. One day. I hope! 😩