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 😲 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 😊

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 πŸ˜‚ 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 😊

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! πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

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

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.

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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 😊

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 δΈ¦ (nami) and 倧盛 (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 😊

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* ☺️ 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 😊

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…! 🀞🀞

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! 😊 I blame it on my lack of sleep. Maybe I need to sleep less once in a while to bring out the extravert behaviours πŸ˜‚

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! 😲 He kept saying β€œni mai, ni mai”, and all that my brain would process is 二枚 – 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: β€œni mai”? As in δ½ δΉ°, you buy?

Omgggg my weirdo brain processes it in Japanese, never mind that we’re not in Japan AND that I replied back to him IN CHINESE saying that I didn’t want it wthhh πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ

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 😊

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 🀣

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??