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 😊

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!

Decided to take the day off too

Apparently it’s a public holiday in a bajillion countries today: Switzerland, France, Italy, Germany, China, Hong Kong, and here in Singapore. 1 May seems to be a popular day for it! With so many markets out of action today, I decided to take the day off too. As you can imagine, markets don’t move much when there are fewer participants, so I presume trading today would be akin to watching paint dry. So rather than do that, I figured I’d do something more productive with my time today.

So I reviewed my progress towards all my goals. It’s May already, can you believe it?! Where did the first four months of the year go?? I reviewed my progress last month, and wrote down some ideas on how I can continue to progress in May. It’s always good to look back and see the progress, because sometimes I forget to see the forest for the trees, just getting bogged down in the day-to-day minutiae. So I try and see the bigger picture by reviewing my goals each month, and see if if I’m deviating too far off the track, or to see which goals I’m lagging behind in or spending too much time on and so can dial back a bit on those ones. Overall, I have to say I’m quite happy with my progress! I’m relatively surprised πŸ‘

And then in the evening I watched a movie, Kiki’s Delivery Service. It’s an old movie (1989) from Hayao Miyazaki, the guy who brought us Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro, along with numerous other works. I wanted to watch something that won’t scare the bejesus out of me, maybe a comedy or a rom com. And somehow I came across this movie, so I thought I’d give it a go.

It actually wasn’t bad. I probably would’ve preferred a comedy, but this was ok too. It was a feel-good movie, about friendship, cooperation, courage, optimism and determination. And of course her cat Jiji made me enjoy it that little bit more. I watched the dubbed version in English, which was dedicated to Phil Hartman, who did the voice of her cat. The cat reminded me of Salem, the one in Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Maybe Jiji was the inspiration for Salem πŸ˜‚ I’d like to watch the original Japanese version too, for learning purposes 😊 And second time around, it’ll be easier for me to focus on the learning, now that I know the storyline. Sorta like my Orange manga… πŸ˜‰

I’m still not going to cheat and read the English version of that manga, though. That one I’m going to persevere and only refer to the English version when I need help with the translation 😊

Frustratement galore

Frustratement galore today. My favourite word πŸ˜‚

Firstly, it rained again. The universe does not want me to ride my/our new scooter. Let’s see how my luck goes tomorrow, and whether the skies will let me ride anywhere at all!

My trading was abysmal today too, so that didn’t go my way either. I was doing stupid things, and the market was moving stupidly too. Ok it probably wasn’t, and it was all me, but I just felt like everything about the market was stupid today πŸ˜‚

Remember that comic that I bought in three languages? I read a bit more of the Chinese one today. But my reading is just sooo slowww, so it’s taking me aaages to get through it. I just want to find out what happens! Maybe I can read the English one first and then once I know the story, then I can read the Chinese and Japanese ones πŸ˜† But in a way that sorta feels like cheating! I bought the manga to continue to learn these two languages, and the entertainment value is really just an added bonus. So if I read the English one first, then it would just be taking the easy way out. So I’m persevering and just keeping the English one for when I’m struggling to keep up with what’s happening in the story. Which just means my speed slows down dramatically and I don’t get to find out what happens until a much later point in time. Sorta like watching a lonnnnng cricket test match (say, one that goes for like 20 days) vs a one-dayer πŸ˜‚ You would just want to find out who wins! But you can’t, because there are 19 days left of the match! 🀣

So frustratement all ’round today. Hopefully tomorrow will be less so.