Go forth and be grateful

I flew back to SG today. The flight itself was one of the smoothest flights I’ve had in a long time. I think the pilot has had to switch on the seatbelt sign at least once on almost every flight I’ve taken this year. But the sign wasn’t switched on at all today, so for once, I actually felt ok when I stepped off the plane!

I watched Book Club on the flight, which turned out to be better than I had expected. I wanted a light-hearted comedy and that’s exactly what I got ๐Ÿ‘ There are has some big names in the movie, in comedic roles that I don’t normally associate them with, so that made it all the more fun to watch ๐Ÿ˜Š

I actually first started watching Inside Out with Japanese dubbing and a Chinese subtitles, just to work on my language skills ๐Ÿ˜ฒ I thought that’d be a good movie to watch in a foreign language, because I’ve seen it so many times and I know the story really well. But that failed miserably ๐Ÿคฃ All I ended up doing was listening very intently to the Japanese, and paid next to no attention to the Chinese subtitles! Maybe I should just stick to learning one language at a time… ๐Ÿ˜† And because watching a movie in a foreign language takes effort, I could only do this for so long before my mental energy was depleted, so that was when I switched over to Book Club where I could just relax and enjoy the movie ๐Ÿ˜Š

I’m feeling all pumped and ready to go through all the clutter in our apartment tomorrow ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿ’ช Let’s see what I can get through. Even though we have two months to vacate, we’re aiming to have sorted through all our stuff by the end of October, so we don’t feel so rushed in the last few weeks that we have left in the country. Today is T-58… ๐Ÿ˜ณ Not long to go. One way to truly put you in the moment and to appreciate what you have right now is when you know it’s going to be taken away from you very shortly. Appreciate what you have right now, because you never know when it will be taken away from you. That’s my lesson for today, peeps. Now go forth and be grateful ๐Ÿ˜Š

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The conversion begins…

I continued to run around like a headless chicken again this morning, making sure I ticked off everything on my imaginary checklist before I flew out this afternoon. I took Kitty to the vet again this morning, and as soon as we got back home, I suddenly remembered that I forgot to ask for a new batch of anti-vomit medicine for her ๐Ÿ˜ฑ Since we were going to be away for one whole week, I couldn’t do without it, since I can’t have her vomiting while we’re away ๐Ÿคฎ So I had no choice but to go back, adding to my stress of making sure I get everything done this morning.

But somehow I managed to do everything I wanted to get done. I don’t know why I stress out about it. It would be so much better for me if I just calmly worked my way through my imaginary checklist ๐Ÿ˜Š

I flew Cathay Pacific today. The switch from everything SG to HK begins… ๐Ÿ˜ฑ Cathay Pacific flies in and out of Terminal 4 at Changi Airport, so it was my first time in the brand new terminal. And because it was new, everything was clean and purteee ๐Ÿ˜Š It was very quiet when I was there, very few planes must’ve been flying at the time, so I got to soak in the surrounds in peace. Although Changi generally is very peaceful and calm anyway, despite the thousands of people transiting through the airport each and every day. Ah Changi. I’m going to miss you as my home base airport ๐Ÿ˜”

Everything in the terminal is electronic, I barely had to talk to any airport personnel. Even boarding was electronic! It was all so high-tech. The conveyor belt in the customs area was pretty funky too. After each tray was scanned, it would stop at a fork in the “conveyor belt” road and the person scanning would determine which road a particular tray will take: the “ok” road, where you can just go and take your luggage and off you go; or the “needs manual intervention” road, where a customs officer will need to go through whatever suspicious things there are in your luggage. It is so cool! Although probably not so cool if your luggage gets stuck in the “manual intervention” queue ๐Ÿ˜ณ

I got a brand new plane โœˆ๏ธ So exciting! Singapore Airlines always uses old planes to fly the SG-HK route – well, I always seem to get the old planes! So being on a brand spanking new plane was awesome ๐Ÿ˜Š The food was really good too, I was very pleasantly surprised.

I watched a Japanese anime on board: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (ๆ™‚ใ‚’ใ‹ใ‘ใ‚‹ๅฐ‘ๅฅณ). I like time travel shows, so as soon as I read the storyline of this movie, I just had to watch it. They had both Chinese and English subtitles, which was PERFECT for me, so I could listen in Japanese, and read in both Chinese and English. The dialogue was very conversational too, so it’s the perfect type of movie to watch for language learning. Problem is, it’s hard to find a movie where the subtitles are in two languages like that. And is it even possible?? It was a good learning opportunity anyhow. I wish I could do that more often.

And then when I finally made it to the serviced apartment, I started looking online for apartments that I wanted to have a look at over the next few days while I’m here. Even if we don’t like any of them, at least we can get in touch with a few property agents and hopefully start getting to see some other places that they may have on their books, which they may not have listed online yet. Fingers crossed we can find something half decent and at an ok price…! ๐Ÿคž I’ve emailed a few agents, so let’s see if any of them come back to me tomorrow…

Shopping and movies

I decided to go out to Jurong today. Apparently they have a few discount outlet stores out there, so I decided to go check them out. My app recommended one particular route, which I presume is supposedly the shortest route time-wise – even though the route requires three train changes! I wonder if the app takes into consideration the time it takes to walk to the different train lines…

Google Maps gave me a different route, with only one train change, but it had more train stops. I decided I’ll take that route on my way home and compare.

The three-train-changes trip took over 45 minutes for ten train stops ๐Ÿ˜ฒ The one-train change trip home took just under 40mins. And I think the trip was also cheaper, because there were fewer train changes. I think I shall go with Google Maps next time ๐Ÿ˜Š

Anyway, the mall that I was heading to (IMM) is in fact full of outlet stores, I didn’t realise. It’s basically like DFO in Oz. Not that it mattered, since I’m not a shopper at all, and I get bored very quickly whenever I’m out shopping. So I spent about half an hour in that mall before getting bored and started making my way home. Basically I spent more time trekking out to the mall than actually IN the mall itself ๐Ÿ˜‚ Oh well. At least I got a decent walk out of it, walking all the way to the mall from the train station and back!

I felt like watching a movie when I got home, partly inspired by a challenge that a friend nominated me for on FB. It’s one of those “name ten <movies/albums/books> that has made an impact on you in some way” type of thing. This current challenge is on movies – and I’m struggling to come up with ten movies to put on the list! I’m posting one movie per day for the next ten days, and today was day #2.

Day 1 – Inside Out

I LOVE this movie. This has to be one of my favourite movies of all time, and probably why I posted it first. It’s quite ironic, since it’s an animated film, which I’m usually not very fond of, so haven’t actually seen that many. But this one I just absolutely loved. I could watch it over and over again. In fact, I want to watch it in both Chinese and Japanese, so I can improve my listening of my two target languages by watching this film dubbed in these two languages! I’m happy to watch this film over and over again “just” for this purpose ๐Ÿ˜Š

Day 2 – Color Me True

This is a Japanese movie that I watched on a flight recently. This ranks pretty much with Inside Out. I loved this movie so much that I watched it again on that very same flight! Color Me True was the English name they gave on the flight, but IMDB lists it as “Tonight, at the Movies”, which is the direct translation of the Japanese title. I don’t know why it has multiple English names! ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

So now I have 8 more to go. Let’s see what else I can think of over the next 8 days…! ๐Ÿ˜†

Oh and what movie did I watch when I got home? Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. A pretty good movie too! I don’t think it’s going to make my list of ten movies, but it was still a good one.

More Oz in SG

We met up with a friend from Oz who’s been living in Vietnam for almost four years now. He had a stopover in SG for about nine hours, and so he decided to come out and meet us for dinner tonight. We went to Xu Ting, this hot pot place that we like to take friends to whenever they’re in town to visit. They speak limited English though, so we always have to pull out whatever Chinese we can. And as you know, whatever gets learnt in the classroom somehow goes out the window whenever I’m put into a real life situation! That doesn’t happen with Japanese, but yes, I have known the basics for that language for much longer than I’ve been learning Chinese. Obviously I need to practise more ๐Ÿ˜Š

And I watched a few more episodes of Masterchef Australia today. I have just finished Gordon Ramsay week, which was surprisingly quite a good week! He’s a tough one, that guy, but the contestants seemed to learn a lot from him. And he seemed to be bringing out the best in them, so he must be doing something right!

Comp preparation

I went and had lunch in a Japanese food court today, and struck up a conversation with the guy who took my order, asking him how to read ไธฆ (nami) and ๅคง็›› (oomori) on their menu, which they had as ‘regular’ and ‘large’ in English. Japanese people are one of the friendliest people I have ever met, and they are always willing to help me learn their language. It’s so good that there is a large Japanese population here that I get to practise my Japanese and also build my vocab ๐Ÿ˜Š

I then got my nails done in the afternoon, getting ready for the comp on the weekend in Vietnam. I have recently discovered gel nail polish, and they are totally suited for people like me who somehow always manages to ruin my manicured nails. They last for at least two weeks, and they stay perfect that entire time. My last manicure only started chipping ever so slightly after those two weeks, and I needed a redo today because my nails had grown so much in the four weeks since I got my last manicure that they were starting to look a bit unkempt * cough cough* โ˜บ๏ธ otherwise I would’ve just kept them for this next comp. And they also protect my nails, so they get to grow much longer than they normally do. Ahhh… All this trouble just for competitions! Nonetheless, they are now a very pretty, vibrant pink, and will continue to be so for the next few weeks ๐Ÿ˜Š

And then tonight, we practiced a bit, and then had another Latin lesson in preparation for this upcoming competition. Despite it being quite late (we started at 8:30pm) and we were both quite tired before we’d even started, we still got a fair bit out of the lesson. Hopefully all this extra effort (and cost!) will pay off on the weekend…! ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿคž

An eventful and productive Saturday

I woke up to this “click click click click” sound, a bit of a pause, and then “click click click click” again, and it kept going. I thought it was a cleaner downstairs, pushing a rather loud trolley. But the sound never faded, so then I thought it might be coming from inside the house, perhaps the washing machine or dryer. So I went to check: it was the dryer. N had apparently timed it to start drying something at 6:45am! So then of course I quickly reason that this “click click click click” isn’t going to stop anytime soon, so then I started wondering how I’m going to get back to sleep…

I tried anyway, but of course Kitty is now up too, and then she starts her usual scratching, hoping this will get her some attention that will eventually lead to food. Argh! What a lovely way to start the morning!

So I did eventually drift back off to sleep, but then got up late, and didn’t have time to have breakfast before Chinese class. So I went to one of my cafes to pick up a takeaway coffee to bring to class. As I was waiting for my coffee, one of the staff members was inputting into their laptop the feedback on all their received feedback forms. In my half catatonic state, I became all outgoing all of a sudden and struck up a conversation with her about the feedback forms, asking what sort of feedback they receive and what actions they take with the feedback etc etc Now for an introvert, this is ultra weird for me! I was actually proud of myself for striking up this conversation! ๐Ÿ˜Š I blame it on my lack of sleep. Maybe I need to sleep less once in a while to bring out the extravert behaviours ๐Ÿ˜‚

We had our first Chinese class in what feels like aaages, perhaps close to a month. I always wonder just how much I remember after not having studied for that long. I do a little bit, but it’s more day to day stuff and nowhere near as challenging as what we do in class. I really need to build some serious study in to my daily routine. I just need to create some rule to take out the decision making process, much like how I’ve somehow managed to create my relatively new habit of going to the gym on non-dancing days during the week. I still fight with myself about the gym on an almost daily basis, but somehow I still manage to go. I need to set up my studying in the same way. I have to think about how to do this…

I went and got my hair cut after lunch, and on my way home, I came across this rather aggressive tissue seller. He was pretty much shoving his tissues into my bag! ๐Ÿ˜ฒ He kept saying โ€œni mai, ni maiโ€, and all that my brain would process is ไบŒๆžš – two sheets (of paper) in Japanese. So I kept asking myself, why is this guy saying two sheets?? Maybe he means two packets of tissues?

I relayed the story to N and asked him what he reckons the guy was saying.

N: โ€œni maiโ€? As in ไฝ ไนฐ, you buy?

Omgggg my weirdo brain processes it in Japanese, never mind that weโ€™re not in Japan AND that I replied back to him IN CHINESE saying that I didn’t want it wthhh ๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช

And tonight we went to practise Latin for a little while, and then watched an episode of Masterchef Australia when we got home.

So despite my crappy night’s sleep, I still managed to have a good day ๐Ÿ˜Š

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 ๐Ÿ˜” 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 ๐Ÿ˜‚

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 ๐Ÿ˜Š I want to use my scooter ๐Ÿ›ด so maybe N and I can take turns on it, while the other one uses a share bike ๐Ÿšฒ 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 ๐Ÿ˜†

And now I’m off to watch the first match of the World Cup, one of the few times when I actually watch football โšฝ๏ธ 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 ๐Ÿคฃ