Resuming my routine

I lost a bit of momentum of my routine while we were in Melbourne, and then also feeling a bit off when we returned to SG didn’t help me get back into the swing of things as soon as we returned. I lost my daily streak in Duolingo and Drops, the two language apps that I’d been regularly logging into prior to our Melbourne trip. I started up again today, and I can see the difference in recall after not logging in for about a week πŸ˜” You really have to just keep pushing on until things just become automatic, you can’t take such a long break. I guess it’s that much harder learning a language as an adult. Lesson learnt.

I also resumed my gym sessions, which also fell by the wayside in the past week. I would normally go the gym if we were staying in a hotel with one, but we didn’t stay in one this time, so I took a break from this too. It was a good session, I was particularly proud of my 3 sets of 35 squats, rising to my top toes in between each squat, which should help my strength in Ballroom, which is all about the rise and fall (except Tango, the black sheep of the Ballroom family of dances). Now my legs are totally spent πŸ˜‚

It’s a public holiday here tomorrow, Hari Raya Puasa, the end of the fasting period of Ramadan. SG is very good at being fair across the different races and religions of the people who make up this small country, and that includes its public holidays. So I’m thinking of doing another cycling trail tomorrow 😊 I want to use my scooter πŸ›΄ so maybe N and I can take turns on it, while the other one uses a share bike 🚲 I want to do a different trail tomorrow, just to see another part of SG that I haven’t seen before. Hopefully my legs will hold up after my 105 squats today πŸ˜†

And now I’m off to watch the first match of the World Cup, one of the few times when I actually watch football ⚽️ One of my old bosses got me into the World Cup in 2014, so this will be the second one that I will follow. Not that I can tell you anything about the previous one 🀣

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Back to SG

We managed to get out of the apartment for a quick breakfast at around 10am. We just had something small, as N wanted to have laksa at Chinta Ria, one of the food stalls in the food court upstairs in Emporium. I couldn’t quite understand why he wants to have a Malaysian dish while we were in Oz, since surely there are numerous Malays in SG who would make excellent laksa too. But when I tasted this laksa today (despite having had this same laksa a bajillion times before), I could now understand why he returns to this place every time we’re in Melbourne. Maybe my taste buds are finally maturing?? The combination of the fresh Aussie produce and the superb culinary skills of the chefs here make this a double whammy of deliciousness.

We then headed straight to the airport after lunch. Because of the Trump / Kim summit happening in SG tomorrow. SG airspace is restricted for the next few days, so I was expecting it to take a while for us to land. But it was all good, typical Changi efficiency πŸ‘

I watched two more movies during the flight: a Hong Kong movie called Never Too Late and a Japanese one called Color Me True. I would like to know how they come up with their English titles because they do not match their titles in their native languages! The HK movie Never Too Late has a much more colourful name in Chinese: “ηˆ±ζƒ…ε₯΄ιšΆε…½” (Γ iqΓ­ng nΓΊlΓ¬ shΓ²u), which I would translate as “love slave animal” πŸ˜‚ The subtitles had it as “butt-licking slave”, so you get the drift πŸ˜‚ But where does the English title come from??

And the Japanese movie was actually really awesome. The name of that movie in Japanese is “δ»ŠεΎŒγ€γƒ­γƒžγƒ³γ‚ΉεŠ‡ε ΄γ§” (kongoo, romansu gekijoo de”, which I would translate as “from now on, at the romance theatre”. Both the Japanese and the English titles make sense when you know what the story is about, but why are they so different? Even if it isn’t a direct translation, why aren’t they even remotely close??

Anyway, I’m glad I watched the Japanese movie. I mentioned in my post when we travelled to Oz how I always seem to choose the el weirdo Japanese movies πŸ˜† Well this one I totally got, and I absolutely loved it. I loved it so much that it could be one of my favourite movies. The storyline, the cinematography, the music, the way they used colour, the costumes. I thought it was all brilliant. I loved it so much that I watched it again a second time on the flight! I didn’t get to watch the full movie second time ’round, but I watched as far as I could. Maybe this could be the movie that I watch over and over again, as per that idea that I mentioned before, to work on improving my Japanese 😊

And to end the day, we got to be with Kitty again. She is all sooky now, so cute. I’m glad she is happy again, she’s looked so sad in the photos these past few days. It’s all back to normal once again, for all of us 😊 Except I may be a bit of a morning person for the first few days back, while I start acclimatising to the SG time again 😝

Travelling day

Our day started at 7am, to give ourselves plenty of time to get to the airport for our 11am flight. But of course, as per usual, Changi does not disappoint, and we get through immigration in literally five minutes, if that. Customs took maybe the full five minutes πŸ˜‚ But that was only because I had people in front of me who were rather slow, and held up the queue as a result. That is, it wasn’t Changi’s fault πŸ˜†

The flight itself – apart from when the pilot suddenly hit the brakes as we were taxiing to take off and one of the flight attendants fell over! – was uneventful, which is always appreciated. I watched two movies, a Japanese one and a Chinese one, my two target languages. I haven’t watched that many Japanese movies, but the handful that I have, have all been rather bizarre! πŸ˜‚ And today’s movie (Tremble All You Want) was no exception. Maybe I just have this knack of choosing the bizarro films. Or maybe I just don’t get Japanese movies!

The Chinese movie that I watched (Namiya), on the other hand, was awesome, and I would classify it as being the type of movie that would fit in the sub-genre that I like. As for what that sub-genre is, I don’t know its name, if it even has one! πŸ˜‚ It’s science fiction mixed in with everyday life, ie it’s not set in some imaginary world like Lord of the Rings, or set in a different time period. It’s just the normal world as we know it, but there is an element of science fiction in that world, which makes it that little bit more interesting.

Anyway, there is this awesome Chinese song that is sung a few times in the movie called ι‡η”Ÿ (chΓ³ng shΔ“ng, Reborn) and I really liked it! I liked it so much that I used the opportunity to work on my listening skills and write out the lyrics to the song based on what I could hear. The sections of the song that was sung in the movie had subtitles, so that helped with a bit of the transcribing. Anyway, when we made it to Melbourne and we were back online, I looked up the lyrics to see just how close I was with my listening. I wasn’t too far off! But I did listen to the lyrics sooo many times, and she sings very slowlyyy… πŸ˜‚ But doesn’t matter, I still consider this progress! πŸ‘

And the Airbnb that we’re staying at in Melbourne is this cute studio apartment in the CBD. The owner met us downstairs, and gave us a quick tour of the apartment. Now we’re wondering if we can comfortably live in an apartment of this size… 😊 Our apartment in SG is pretty small already, and this one is just that next size smaller again… We’re getting to Japan-size apartments, and whole families live in apartments of this size over there, so surely we could make it work??

A different start to the week

A friend shared this link on Facebook, and I really want to do this now! The basic idea is to watch the same movie a bajillion times, first in your native language, and then a few times in your target language, to get more and more used to hearing the latter. And also to read the script in the two languages, so you can study the new words and sentence structures at your pace, and not be forced to keep up with the movie’s pace, if that’s a bit too fast for you at your current stage of learning. They do say at the end of the article that this works best when your target language and your native language are similar, which sorta doesn’t work with my two target languages: Chinese and Japanese! These two languages are as far from English as you can probably get! But still, I may have enough knowledge of Chinese to get through a movie. Not sure about Japanese, but there’s no harm in trying 😊 Now the first hurdle is to find a movie that I want to watch over and over and over and over and over and over again… πŸ˜‚ And then the second hurdle is to find it in either of my target languages!

We got visa photos done for Vietnam today. The photo place said that I needed to show my ears and not have my hair covering my eyebrows, so I tucked my hair behind my ears and tried to push my fringe to the side as best I could. I still had wisps on my forehead, but she said she can photoshop them out. Sheesh, how so specific! We’re planning on going in July for a dance comp in Ho Chi Minh. I decided to do this one instead of another comp in Taipei, because I’ve never actually been to Vietnam, and figured that this is a good enough reason as any. And if first impressions are good, I may return 😊

I made it to the gym today, after the usual fight with myself – even though it’s a pointless fight, really, because my rule is the rule: non-dancing day + no other commitments + it’s a weekday = gym day. I get there, and it looks like someone’s left a mark with a bicycle with very thin wheels, starting at the door of the gym. I was like okayyy… That’s weird… And proceeded to make my way to the gym. As I walk closer to the trail left by what I could only think was a bicycle, I noticed that the trail was alive. It was actually an an ant trail, comprising thousands of little ants, scurrying along, like they had a mission. It was so grosss… I followed the trail. Apparently it starts somewhere outside, and they continue through the gym, and then out the other door. OMG. What could possibly start such a trail? Did someone leave food outside? But even if they did, why would the trail continue through the gym, and out the other end?! It was all one big mystery. I did report it, so hopefully management can get to the bottom of the issue relatively quickly.

And because of the trail, I just couldn’t be in that gym today. So I just did a few body-only type exercises today in the living room. It was more like a warmup more than anything else, so it was nowhere near as good as one of my usual trips to the gym, but I’m happy that I did something 😊

Saturday progress

We got home quite late last night from babysitting, which ultimately meant getting to bed quite late, sometime after 2am. So it was a real struggle to get to Chinese class this morning. To be only around 15 minutes late was amazing, and I also managed to focus the entire time, which was just as amazing πŸ˜†

We then decided to have lunch at Hokkaido Marche, this small foodcourt that only does Japanese food. How cool is that?! It probably only has about half a dozen or so stalls, and it’s quite expensive for what is essentially food court food, especially when you compare it to other food courts in SG. Probably a lot of the ingredients are sourced from Japan, hence the higher prices. But the food is nice 🍜

I then sat at Coffeesmith for about an hour, a Korean version of Starbucks, is how I’d describe it πŸ˜† I was just going to get a coffee, but then noticed their sign for a sweet potato latte. I couldn’t resist this new drink, so I ordered one. It was a little sweet, but overall, it actually wasn’t too bad! I’d definitely order it again πŸ‘

Sweet potato latte

I did some of my Chinese homework while I drank my sweet potato latte. It’s amazing how much you learn when you actually do your homework! πŸ˜†

We were both lacking sleep, so when we got home, we just crashed and took a rather long nap – and ended up missing dance practice. So we went to the gym instead. Not quite the same, but at least we did something. And I still did my Rumba walks on the treadmill, so I still got a bit of dancing in today 😊

And we finished the evening with an episode of Downton Abbey. I’m up to season four! How did I get to season four so quickly?!? I guess their seasons aren’t too long, so I shouldn’t sound so surprised. And characters just keep leaving! In the episode today, one character didn’t even make it through the episode! πŸ˜‚ Not a steady ship, this one! But it does keep the show interesting, with so many character changes and the relationships between them also changing over time.

Some progress with a few goals today, so I’m happy 😊

A wet Saturday

I decided to wear jeans today. As soon as I walked out of the house, I could feel their heat insulating capabilities πŸ˜‚ Why do I choose to wear jeans in Singapore, you’re probably wondering. I only wear them when I know I’m going to be indoors for long periods of time, because when you’re indoors here, you’re always in aircon. Always. Apart from when you’re at home, you can guarantee that you will be in air conditioned comfort. Shopping mall, restaurant, office, public transport etc etc. It’s only when you’re walking to these places will you be enduring the heat and humidity. And I get cold easily, so I get quite cold when I’m in aircon for long periods of time. Plus a lot of places have the aircon turned up to the nth degree, so my coldness is exacerbated.

So Chinese class; lunch (Bak Kut Teh! Haven’t had that in aaaages); and then a movie this afternoon (we watched Solo – not bad) – all indoors. My jeans were perfect πŸ‘

And it turned out that by the time we were on our way home this afternoon, it started to rain, which washed away some of the humidity, and my jeans actually felt ok to wear on the walk home. Excellent choice in attire today 😊

But because it was all wet, by the time we reached home, we really didn’t feel like going out again. Plus N was feeling quite tired, so we skipped dancing tonight. But after a bit of rest, we still decided to go to the gym πŸ’ͺ I actually didn’t have to fight with myself to go today, I think maybe because I already had it in my mind that we were going to dancing today, and the gym just happened to be the alternative.

And then we spent the rest of the evening watching Jurassic Park 😊 It’s been 25 years since the original was released, omg. A quarter of a century. No wonder I can’t remember it πŸ˜‚ I want to watch the previous Jurassic Park movies before we watch the new one that’s coming out in June. I want to be all up to date, so that I know the back story beforehand. There were a few missing pieces in my knowledge when we went to watch Avengers: Infinity War, so I’d like to be a bit more prepared going into Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. So one movie down, three more to go…

A few goals in progress

We had our Chinese class this morning. We’ve almost finished book 3! How in the world did that happen?!? 😲 So we’ll finish this textbook this term, in June, and then we’ll be up to book 4. That’s crazy stuff – and a helluva lot of vocab and grammar. No wonder I can’t keep up. You really need to be reviewing and practising every single day. But there’s just so much to do! I am still reading my Orange manga, and I am also using a few different apps, two of which (Drops and Duolingo) I try to log into at least once a day. And then there’s exercises in our textbook. And then there’s watching tv and listening to the radio… Sighhh… So many resources, not enough time πŸ˜”

Plus Chinese and Japanese are two of the hardest languages for a native English speaker to learn, so that just adds to the slowness. And they’re two of four languages that I want to learn! But French and Spanish (the other two) are closer to English, so I find them easier to learn. But those two Asian languages, omg, can they be any more different to English?!? 🀣 But I do get a kick out of learning languages. I guess you could say that becoming a polyglot would be a long-term (read: life) goal for me. I only just realised this hahaha πŸ™„ I can be a bit slow at times!

I got N to watch the first few episodes of Downton Abbey, but as I had expected, he didn’t really enjoy it. Oh well. I was hoping it’d be a series that we could enjoy watching together, much like Game of Thrones, but I guess that isn’t to be. Oh well, we just have to keep looking for our next series…!

And I don’t know if I haven’t used enough lotion this time, but I’m not as Oompa Loompa as I usually am, so I’ve put on yet another layer of my fake tan. Surely this one will be enough. Well too late now to put on another layer anyhow, as the comp is tomorrow! So nails are also done, dodgily as per usual, but people won’t notice that far away. They just need to see colour πŸ’… so I’m as primped as I can be the night before a comp!

We are doing 20 dances in total tomorrow, across 8 different events, averaging around three dances per event 😲 That’s the other “problem” of being a ten-dance dancer. You do twice as many dances as the specialists, and only half the time to practice πŸ˜” I’m getting tired just thinking about how many dances we have to get through! πŸ˜“

Blahhh… I am feeling a bit anxious again, as I always do leading up to a comp. Let’s see how many of those 20 dances we can get through without making any mistakes! I can probably count them on one hand 🀚 But hopefully I can surprise myself, as well as the judges πŸ˜‚ Fingers crossed! 🀞Regardless of the outcome, we learn something about ourselves and our dancing after every comp. You grow after each one, even if it is an arduous process having to go through them!