A sign

We went and had dinner at one of the hawker centres near the dance studio after our lesson. N still has his cold (argh!), so we decided to skip Latin practice tonight and just go and have a quick dinner before heading home.

While we were there, some random person walked by. He had a long gown on and a sign on his back that said something like “has terminal cancer, mental patient”, and his doctor’s name underneath. He sat down and he seemed to be there to eat dinner too. He had no nose. Whether he lost his nose to said cancer or from something else, I don’t know.

Anyway, I was sad for this gentleman, but also glad that he was allowed to go out of hospital and walk around on his own. He must have enough mental capacity to be allowed out on his own, and not be a danger to himself and/or to others. Plus his doctor’s details are on his sign, I assume just in case he needs assistance to find his way back.

I am also glad that Singapore is safe enough for someone like him to be able to wander around and not be physically or verbally assaulted. And that the medical staff allow him to live life as normal as he possibly can, given his circumstances. People just leave others to their own devices here, and so he just sat down at the hawker centre by himself and ate his dinner, much like everyone else there. I thought it was so lovely.

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Comp #3 for 2018

It wasn’t the best start to the day of the comp. Firstly, I just wasn’t in comp mode, if that’s a thing πŸ˜† I just felt like I was doing something that I didn’t really want to do. Not that I ever feel like doing a comp πŸ˜‚ but today was just different. Also all our events were in the evening, which allowed us freedom to do whatever we wanted during the day. So that freedom didn’t help me focus on dancing either 😐 I ended up getting hooked on Game of Thrones (we’re nearing the end of season six) and I’m also now up to the crazy bit in one of my current books, The Last Mrs Parrish. So the last thing I wanted to do was abandon things when they were getting good!

Today’s comp was at the same venue as our previous comp, so at least we knew the venue relatively well this time, and we didn’t have to spend any time familiarising ourselves with the layout – where the change rooms, the bathrooms, recall numbers and the marshalling area are; how fast/slow the dance floor is etc etc – and just focus on our dancing.

Well as much as we could, that is. N’s cold is still bothering him, and people were saying he looked like he was going to faint in our Slow Fox πŸ˜” I asked him if he can last through all four events that we registered for, or whether we should pull out of one or two. Of course he wanted to tough it out 😳

Despite his illness, we actually danced ok, surprisingly. Not perfect, and a few dances fell apart at times, but overall, we were relatively happy with our dancing, given the limited practice we got in these past few weeks. Our teachers said that we improved from the last comp, which is great. One of the quotes that I like from the interweb is this: “no matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everybody on the couch”. That’s how I feel about our dancing! πŸ˜‚

So obviously a bit of a break from dancing has somehow helped us today. No dancing tomorrow, we’ll just extend our break that little bit longerπŸ˜†

A mental health day

I took the day off to give myself a bit of a break from trading. A mental health day, as we called them, back in my previous industry. I’d like to get my mental health back in order before returning to the trading screen on Monday. I hope other industries are embracing the importance of these days as well.

I wanted to have a local breakfast this morning, but all the kopitiams (coffee shops) near our place were packed as, with locals having their daily breakfast, I suppose. So that left me no choice but to have a western breakfast.

The cafe where I ended up was having cash register issues, so when I went to go pay, things were going awry. So the staff member exclaims “Alamak! The receipt won’t print!” And continues to say alamak a few more times until they finally get a receipt printed for me. That’s the first time I’ve heard alamak said in real life! It was used a number of times in that book I read recently, Crazy Rich Asians, by Kevin Kwan, a Singaporean author. And I’ve seen it mentioned in Singlish related stuff. So from these, I knew how it was used, but up until today, it’s just been an academic word for me. So it was rather exciting to actually hear it in real life – and with so much frustration from the speaker as well, it just really brought the expression to life! πŸ˜†

After breakfast / brunch, I went to Gardens by the Bay, like I said I would. It was the first day of Tulipmania in the Flower Dome, and I was very excited to go see it today 🌷🌷

Until I actually got there. The display was a bit too artistic for me, it just went over my head. I just didn’t quite get it 😐

Are they meant to represent certain people? The Dutch people, perhaps? The eyelids actually opened and closed on some of them, which was also a little freaky.Β I don’t get it… I just don’t get it…

Despite the odd display, the flowers were very pretty, as they always are, so wandering through both the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest raised my spirits.

I then did a bit of wandering around the shops on Orchard Road, before heading home and relaxing for the rest of the evening. We were supposed to practice tonight, but N is still not feeling all that great, his cold is still lingering around πŸ˜”

We have a comp tomorrow, but we’ve barely practiced in the past few weeks, with me first having the cold, and now him. If we hadn’t already registered and paid, I’d pull out of this comp, to be honest. Our dancing probably won’t reflect what we can actually do, and it’ll just make me feel disappointed if we don’t dance to the best of our abilities. It’s not about the results – like I’ve said before, we always rank poorly against the specialists anyway, so we’re used to not placing well. But it’s when we don’t – or can’t – give our all that will be more disappointing. Sigh. Oh well, it can’t be helped. We just have to make the most of tomorrow. Who knows, maybe the lack of practice will let us ease up and just enjoy the performance tomorrow, rather than get all bogged down in the technical detail, like we usually doπŸ˜†

Manga shopping

It was mostly a pretty typical Sunday: Latin lesson, followed by Ballroom practice. After dancing, we went to go buy some groceries for Kitty, some food and litter for the feline member of the family 😸

I then went to Kinokuniya to buy some manga to further my language studies. Once I got there though, the shelves upon shelves of manga just overwhelmed me. Where do I start?? And reading the description on the back of each comic book would take forever, since it was all in Japanese. I couldn’t even figure out how they were ordered. I thought it may be in alphabetical order, but using the Japanese alphabet. But even that idea didn’t seem to hold. So the best I could come up with was to succumb to the pretty covers, read whatever I could on the cover (all the comic books were wrapped, so you couldn’t flick through them), and hope that the advertising would somehow eventually lure me to something that I could potentially enjoy reading πŸ˜†

I did, however, manage to find online English descriptions of my shortlisted ones, so I could quickly get an idea of what the manga was about, instead of just solely relying on the pretty pictures on the cover. So after over an hour of browsing through the Japanese manga shelves, I eventually settled for 犬η₯žγγ‚“はツンだけどバレてる, which I think roughly translates to “Inugami is aloof but easy to read”. Well, something along those lines. I’m not quite at interpreter level… 🀣

So after browsing through the Japanese manga shelves, I then headed over to the Chinese manga shelves, and went through the same thing over on those shelves 😳 I eventually settled for ε°ζΈ―θ£‘ηš„ε‹•η‰©θ¨Ίζ‰€ (I would translate this as “A Vet Clinic in Xiao Gang”, referring to a fictional city or the district in Southern Taiwan, I don’t know). I couldn’t find an English website like I did for the Japanese manga, but the cute animals on the cover won me over nonetheless πŸ˜‚

After almost two hours of trying to navigate my way through the shelves of Japanese and Chinese manga, I then started to head over to the cashier to pay for my chosen comic books. Only to then stumble across some shelves with English manga! Omg, I have apparently discovered a whole new world that I was completely oblivious to before I came up with this manga-may-help-you-improve-your-language-skills idea πŸ˜† The manga in English were more limited in choice compared to the Japanese and Chinese ones. I guess the English-speaking manga fans just don’t quite have the same numbers (and/or the history?) yet. So not only did I have less to browse through in this section of the bookstore, but I could obviously much more easily read the covers of these comic books! πŸ˜‚ So I got through the English section in next to no time, compared to the mammoth adventure I had in the previous two sections.

So let’s see just how long it will take me to read these comic books… 😜 I’m still hoping that this idea of reading manga will help to improve my language skills, and that I am also entertained along the way, and not just suffer tremendously the entire time!🀞

My lingering cold

I actually feel worse today compared to yesterday. Ugh. I still did some trading and I still went for our Ballroom lesson, but I skipped Latin practice as I just didn’t have the energy for it πŸ˜”

Our friends here keep saying that I’m sick all the time. I guess it’s relative – coz they didn’t know me back in Oz when I was sick virtually every month! Ok slight exaggeration, but it probably wasn’t far from that πŸ˜” The weather in SG agrees much more with my constitution. Even with the constant walking in and out of aircon places here!

We went and grabbed some Japanese for dinner, a late dinner at around 9:30pm. I love how there are still quite a few options for a late dinner here, especially with our finishing late on most nights during the week. SG is for night owls, which suits us just fine 😊 Our morning lark friends and family struggle a bit when they’re here, with the lack of open shops in the morning for them. I am rarely (if ever?!) inconvenienced in the same way πŸ˜‚

Easter Sunday

We had Ballroom practice today. Someone came up to N afterwards and complimented us on our dancing, which was nice. It sometimes feels like we’re getting nowhere with our dancing, so it’s nice to have people come up to us and say something positive about it! Especially random people, because then you know it’s really genuine. That we are actually doing something right. I know our teachers want us to dance to the best of our abilities, and push us in each of our lessons. So sometimes I think they forget (or don’t realise) that some positive reinforcement would be nice every once in a while too 😊 If I don’t get any, I start to wonder if we are in fact getting any better at all! (Or maybe we just don’t deserve any compliments at all?! πŸ˜”)

We bought Japanese takeaway for dinner from a Japanese restaurant down the road. When we got home, we opened the bowls and we were pleasantly surprised by the generous portions that they gave. And the huge salmon roe poured over both of our dishes! Very impressive.

A generous serving of salmon, topped with huge salmon roe

And we watched two episodes of Game of Thrones to finish off our lovely Easter long weekend. Unfortunately we don’t get Easter Monday here, so our chillaxing weekend is now almost over πŸ˜” We did have a lovely weekend though, so I’m not complaining 😊

Hump day

I made this awesome pescatarian lunch today:

But then I ruined it by adding honey to the lemon vinaigrette… Lesson learnt. Never doing that again πŸ˜‚

Trading wasn’t too bad today. I didn’t feel all high and mighty like I did yesterday, but at least I didn’t feel too stupid like I normally do. Maybe some things are actually coming together in the old noggin 😊

We had our usual Ballroom lesson tonight, and our teacher seems to be relatively happy with our progress. Latin practice afterwards wasn’t the best, we’ve danced better than that before. But N had a crappy day at work, and that was probably weighing on his mind a bit. Plus he didn’t get much sleep last night either. So with those two things combined, I’m not surprised Latin fell apart quite a fair bit tonight. Our next comp is in just 2.5 weeks, so there’s not much time left to make sure it’s well and truly back together!

And then afterwards, we went and had dinner with some dancing friends at Sin Hoi Sai Eating House on the East Coast. Great food, with outdoor seating so it’s pretty relaxed and casual. They’re open until 4 in the morning or something! We finish dancing at around 10:15-10:30pm, so by the time we get changed and leave the studio, it’s probably closer to 11pm, so places like this are great for us 😊