First trip to Johor Bahru!

We took our first trip over to Malaysia today. I was rather excited and a little nervous at the same time. I still find it quite amazing that simply going over a bridge lands you in a completely different country.

But it’s not like you can just wander back and forth willy nilly πŸ˜‚: there are immigration checkpoints on BOTH sides. And we got to experience both a quiet time (5-10min wait) and a busy time (at least half an hour 😲). Apparently there’s a fast track immigration clearance system called MACS (Malaysian Automated Clearance System) for Singaporeans and us proxies, which allows you to go through a separate – and much faster – immigration line on the Malaysian side. A very good idea if you plan on going back and forth quite regularly; saves your passport from filling up really quickly too, as it is still stamped each and every time you head over. However, it costs S$35 at the time of writing this. I’m not sure if we’ll be heading over THAT often for this to be good value. And the application process is apparently a bit inconvenient: we’ve been told the in-person process takes four hours, and then another two day wait for the process to be completed. But if they’re open on the weekend, I guess we could live with a one-off inconvenience for a year’s worth of convenience at the Malaysian immigration checkpoint. So we have to figure out whether the time and money investment will be worth it…

We did have a very good day practising, though. The studio floor was huge (which is great for Ballroom), and we pretty much had the floor to ourselves all morning. But today was a one-off, and although we plan on doing the exact same thing again next Sunday, I don’t know how often we’d head over the water after that. Maybe if we went over for some more touristy stuff, I may change my mind 😊

But the toilet situation, unfortunately, was a bit disappointing. For some reason, I was expecting similar standards as Singapore, but it’s not quite the same… πŸ€” And the limited amount of research I did AFTER I visited the women’s toilets in the shopping mall that we were at, seemed to indicate that the toilets in this mall were actually quite GOOD 😱 I’ll let you do your own research if you plan on visiting so you can prepare accordingly, and allow you to set a bit more of an expectation. Just don’t do what I did, going in blindly, and where I pretty much walked in expecting SG standards / “processes” πŸ˜” Lesson for the day: don’t make assumptions!!

Notwithstanding the toilet situation, it was a good but very tiring day, and overall, I’m glad we went over. We’re going back again next Sunday, so hopefully we get to see a little bit more of Johor Bahru outside of the dance studio and the immigration checkpoint πŸ˜†

Class, friends and a day trip

We started the day off with our usual Chinese class this morning. It wasn’t as mentally exhausting as it usually is, after being bombarded with a bajillion new words and grammatical structures. I don’t know why I didn’t feel that way after today’s class.

Although we did have a particularly funny moment in class today, which may have helped ease the usual mental exhaustion 😊: one of the words we learnt today was translated as β€œpleasure boat” in the textbook.

Me: What’s a pleasure boat? (As rather lewd connotations came to mind πŸ˜‚)

Teacher: It’s like a river cruise ship

N: So not like one of those ferries that go to Batam?

Teacher: No no, it’s not like a ferry where you sit on it for 45min and then everyone gets off. No no, it’s much bigger than that.

<< class continues >>

Teacher: New word ζŒ‡ (point, point at), for example ζŒ‡θ·― (point at the road). It’s ζŒ‡ as in ζ‰‹ζŒ‡ (finger), remember that? So people whose job it is to point people to where various roads are.

German student: So not finger people?

N: On the pleasure boat?

Hahahhahahahhahah omg I was in tears in the class 🀣🀣 hahahha so childish and immature πŸ˜‚ But this sort of banter is part of what makes the class fun 😊

We then headed over to our friends’ place for lunch, and just hung out with them for the afternoon. We missed dancing as a result, but I didn’t mind. Spending time with friends and family doesn’t happen all the time, so I’m always happy to make time for them 😊 And also, tomorrow we’re spending a huge chunk of the day dancing anyway, so again, I wasn’t too fussed with missing out today. I did a few small things at home anyhow 😊

On the topic of dancing: we’re going to our teacher’s dance studio in Malaysia tomorrow! Omg! I’m rather excited, as it’ll be my first time over the border. We have to bring our passports and everything 😲 (as you would going into a different country! πŸ˜‚) Total cray cray that you can be in an entirely different country after being on a bus for a measly half an hour. It still boggles my mind. Half an hour would barely get you halfway across Sydney! Let alone out of the city. And fat chance of even getting to a different state in a few HOURS.

So I’m nervous and excited about tomorrow…. 😬 We’re meeting our teacher at 8:30am tomorrow – on a SUNDAY. Omg I’m going to struggle big time getting up. And he suggested 7am at first 😱 and I was like nah man, that ain’t cool hahaha Plus I need to be somewhat alert for a dance lesson! He wants to avoid the immigration queues, which can apparently get quite horrendous, so I understand where he’s coming from. So hopefully at 8:30am, the queues will still be somewhat okayyy…. 🀞 I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow 😊

My unique voice / accent

I rang my usual hairdresser to book an appointment for next week. The receptionist proceeded to say “Kim is only available from 1-3pm on that day”. I was like omg how did she know who my hairdresser is? Did she recognise my voice? Maybe they don’t get too many Aussies coming in and so it’s very obvious when I call? So I asked her. She replied with something along the lines of: “Oh your number came up (on caller ID) and I looked it up on our system”. Ohhh… Well that would be a smarter way to recognise a customer! 🀣🀣

Well that was the most entertaining part of my day. The rest of my day was productive, though πŸ‘ Although I think it was more because we decided not to go to dancing today (N is busy at work at the moment), so I got a few hours to work on some other stuff instead 😊 Plus we need a bit of a break from training, our bodies just need longer to recover now πŸ˜” What is this getting older business?!??

A new blog?

I had this interesting thought today: what if I started a productivity blog? After starting this blog, I have discovered that I am always looking for ideas on how to be more productive, trying things out and tweaking things to better suit my life and my personality. Why don’t I share these experiences and findings with other people, and they can then share theirs with me, and we can learn from one another? Anyway, it was just a thought I had today. I might mull over it some more over the next few days, flesh out the idea and see if it’s something that I want to pursue. Especially given that I already have this blog – which I have committed to writing in on a daily basis – and all the other things that I am already currently doing, this would be yet another thing that I am adding into my life. So yes, this will require a bit more thought…. But productivity, happiness and self improvement are definitely things that I am constantly reading up on, so it would be a topic that I could write many posts on! πŸ˜‚

Ironically, though, I didn’t feel very productive today! πŸ˜† I did stick to my consistency theme, so I can pat myself on the back regarding that. Chinese, trading, dancing and home, all moved at least an inch forward today πŸ‘ So I shouldn’t be so hard on myself! But sometimes the progress just seems so slowwww, y’know? Sighhh…

I actually didn’t feel like sticking with my consistency theme today and just going “f*k it, what’s one day”. But that’s the whole point: you do it regardless of how you’re feeling. Consistency each and every day. Here are a few quotes on this point to end this post – and the day – to provide some motivation:

“A little progress each day adds up to big results.” – Satya Nani

“Success isn’t owned; it’s leased. And rent is due every single day.” – JJ Watt

My mantra may as well have been β€œtired” today

I was so tired today. After the dinner n dance last night, and then a really bad night’s sleep where I tossed and turned for about two hours in the middle of the night, I just wasn’t feeling all that refreshed when I woke up this morning. And it didn’t get any better πŸ˜”

But I tried to keep my mantra going nonetheless, which I chose to be “enjoy” today. We had 3.5 hours of dancing again today, and I knew that the only way I could possibly have any hope of getting through it was to remind myself of my mantra for the day. Our Latin lesson was good, really enjoyed that. But by the end of it, I was really struggling; and by the time we got to Ballroom, the balls of my feet were sore as, and I could barely walk, let alone have any energy to do anything more than get myself on and off the dancefloor hahaha Maybe not having much food to eat today didn’t help either 😳 I should work on that next week!

We decided to go watch another movie tonight: Downsizing. We went straight from dancing, so my energy was already pretty much spent by the time the evening rolled around. I was ready to fall asleep during parts of the movie. And because I was so tired, I can’t figure out whether I liked the movie or not! Am I rating it as mediocre because I was falling asleep in parts? But would I have thought the same regardless, if I wasn’t so tired? I don’t know… πŸ€”

So despite my mantra for the day, with my lack of energy for most of it, I don’t think I enjoyed it as much as I would have liked πŸ˜”

Ten dance no mean feat

Quite a good day today, dancing-wise. I’m taking notes after every lesson now. I feel much more organised, and I feel like we’re making the best use out of each of our lessons. We’re still struggling to get back into form, but hey, we have EIGHT dances to work through! We shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves. And remember that each respective teacher will only be seeing the four dances that he cares about, so of course they’ll always be disappointed with our progress. If we’re only spending half the time training in one style compared to a specialist, of course we’ll never catch up to them. But we’re aiming to be decathletes of dance! No mean feat. Keeps us going, both physically and mentally 😊

And here, they take it easy on the seniors! Yes, that’s our category πŸ˜‚ They’re only giving us four dances in each event instead of the usual 5. So I shouldn’t complain! Hehehe πŸ’ͺπŸ’ͺ

Biweeklies

We took our bi-weekly trip to the vet today. Kitty was well behaved: we barely had to restrain her for the measly few minutes that she was hooked up on the drip. And her appetite is pretty much back to normal! πŸ‘ There’s something oddly satisfying with reporting good news back to the vet! 😊

We had an extra Latin lesson tonight, on top of our usual lesson yesterday. I think N was lacking a bit of confidence in his dancing ability yesterday, feeling rather out of form and lacking focus. His mental attitude was much better today, which then came across in his dancing too. We’re still nowhere near our previous level, but we can only continue to put in the work consistently over the next few weeks, and just do our best for the 3 Feb comp. If we do that, then I think we’ll be happy.

Our rumba and samba felt better today. There are still a few wobbly, shaky parts, but by and large, I thought we danced them well. I think we can do this comp. We probably won’t win, but that’s not the aim of this comp. We just want to get back the feel of being on the comp floor again. And if we can dance all 8 of our routines cleanly, then that’ll be enough 😊