A sign

We went and had dinner at one of the hawker centres near the dance studio after our lesson. N still has his cold (argh!), so we decided to skip Latin practice tonight and just go and have a quick dinner before heading home.

While we were there, some random person walked by. He had a long gown on and a sign on his back that said something like “has terminal cancer, mental patient”, and his doctor’s name underneath. He sat down and he seemed to be there to eat dinner too. He had no nose. Whether he lost his nose to said cancer or from something else, I don’t know.

Anyway, I was sad for this gentleman, but also glad that he was allowed to go out of hospital and walk around on his own. He must have enough mental capacity to be allowed out on his own, and not be a danger to himself and/or to others. Plus his doctor’s details are on his sign, I assume just in case he needs assistance to find his way back.

I am also glad that Singapore is safe enough for someone like him to be able to wander around and not be physically or verbally assaulted. And that the medical staff allow him to live life as normal as he possibly can, given his circumstances. People just leave others to their own devices here, and so he just sat down at the hawker centre by himself and ate his dinner, much like everyone else there. I thought it was so lovely.

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A relaxing Sunday

We had a nice, relaxing Sunday. Firstly, we met up with friends for a belated Easter lunch. We started this tradition of going for an Easter lunch with them a few years ago, but they were overseas during Easter this year, so we postponed the lunch until today. It’s a nice tradition that we’ve started, and I hope we can continue it for a while yet. But like I’ve said before, who knows where we will be or where they will be next year, so I just take things as they come, and appreciate the time that we are all in Singapore together.

We then went to a Dyson exhibit at the Art Science Museum. Yes, the vacuum cleaner company. I thought it would be more about the evolution of their products over the years, but it was more about promoting their current products, and learning some science along the way. They had a few interactive displays to learn about science and engineering for kids, so that was quite cool, but it just wasn’t what I was expecting. The kids of our friends who we just had lunch with would probably have had a better time. Oh well. But it did get us thinking about buying the brand new Dyson product, especially with N being allergic to Kitty πŸ˜” so I guess their marketing efforts have paid off…! πŸ˜†

And then we rode share bikes to Suntec to watch Rampage at the movies there. We’re getting into the share bikes at the moment. Singapore is such a perfect place for it: it’s a small city, so it’s quite easy to get around on a bicycle. The pavements are smooth, the cost is cheap, and there are so many areas where you can pick up and drop off the share bikes that it just makes it so easy.

And we finished the evening with an episode of Game of Thrones. We finished season six. Now I only have one more season to go before I am all caught up. But then once I’m finished with season seven, I’ll be waiting with bated breath for season eight – for about a year! 😳

A mental health day

I took the day off to give myself a bit of a break from trading. A mental health day, as we called them, back in my previous industry. I’d like to get my mental health back in order before returning to the trading screen on Monday. I hope other industries are embracing the importance of these days as well.

I wanted to have a local breakfast this morning, but all the kopitiams (coffee shops) near our place were packed as, with locals having their daily breakfast, I suppose. So that left me no choice but to have a western breakfast.

The cafe where I ended up was having cash register issues, so when I went to go pay, things were going awry. So the staff member exclaims “Alamak! The receipt won’t print!” And continues to say alamak a few more times until they finally get a receipt printed for me. That’s the first time I’ve heard alamak said in real life! It was used a number of times in that book I read recently, Crazy Rich Asians, by Kevin Kwan, a Singaporean author. And I’ve seen it mentioned in Singlish related stuff. So from these, I knew how it was used, but up until today, it’s just been an academic word for me. So it was rather exciting to actually hear it in real life – and with so much frustration from the speaker as well, it just really brought the expression to life! πŸ˜†

After breakfast / brunch, I went to Gardens by the Bay, like I said I would. It was the first day of Tulipmania in the Flower Dome, and I was very excited to go see it today 🌷🌷

Until I actually got there. The display was a bit too artistic for me, it just went over my head. I just didn’t quite get it 😐

Are they meant to represent certain people? The Dutch people, perhaps? The eyelids actually opened and closed on some of them, which was also a little freaky.Β I don’t get it… I just don’t get it…

Despite the odd display, the flowers were very pretty, as they always are, so wandering through both the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest raised my spirits.

I then did a bit of wandering around the shops on Orchard Road, before heading home and relaxing for the rest of the evening. We were supposed to practice tonight, but N is still not feeling all that great, his cold is still lingering around πŸ˜”

We have a comp tomorrow, but we’ve barely practiced in the past few weeks, with me first having the cold, and now him. If we hadn’t already registered and paid, I’d pull out of this comp, to be honest. Our dancing probably won’t reflect what we can actually do, and it’ll just make me feel disappointed if we don’t dance to the best of our abilities. It’s not about the results – like I’ve said before, we always rank poorly against the specialists anyway, so we’re used to not placing well. But it’s when we don’t – or can’t – give our all that will be more disappointing. Sigh. Oh well, it can’t be helped. We just have to make the most of tomorrow. Who knows, maybe the lack of practice will let us ease up and just enjoy the performance tomorrow, rather than get all bogged down in the technical detail, like we usually doπŸ˜†

Orange

I read this blog article on manga, and the author listed a few ideas for Japanese learners at different levels. For beginner learners, she listed this manga called Orange. I actually remember seeing this manga at Kinokuniya on the weekend, so I thought I’d return today and buy it.

While I was there, remembering my massive challenge on the weekend browsing through the numerous shelves of Japanese and Chinese manga (and English manga, but that wasn’t a challenge in any way whatsoever πŸ˜‚), I quickly realised that finding this particular manga again isn’t going to be that easy.

However, I also remembered that the manga seemed to be grouped into broad demographics: “boy” manga, “girl” manga, “quasi porn” manga πŸ˜‚ etc. I would classify Orange as a “girl” manga, so I started my search in that area. Sure enough, I found it relatively quickly, omg!

Then I had this crazy thought: what if I could find this exact same manga in both the Chinese section and the English section?? The English version would act as my safety net, should I have difficulty understanding it in either (or both!) of the other two languages.

But then of course that meant that I had to go searching in the seemingly disordered Chinese manga section, which didn’t seem to talk to me in the same way that the Japanese manga section did (and the latter barely spoke to me as it was πŸ˜‚). Looking at the spine of the Japanese book, I noticed that it had the word “Orange” written on it – in English! So all I needed to do was find the same word in the “girl” area of the Chinese manga section. I can find an English word among the thousands of Chinese comic books here, surely! πŸ˜‚ It took me considerably longer to find than the Japanese version, but eventually I did. Omg x2!

Now for the easiest one of all. The English section is in alphabetical order, so I went straight to the O’s. And there it was. Omg x3.

[ But I’m still wondering how the Chinese and Japanese manga are ordered?! ]

I decided to buy all three πŸ€ͺ Crazy or ingenious?!?

Three versions of the same manga 😲 From L to R: English, Japanese, Chinese

I’ve actually started reading all three versions 😲 I’m mega slow: I’m only about ten odd pages in (and remember that these are comic books, so they’re full of pictures!), but it’s been good so far. One thing that I’ve discovered, which I didn’t think of when I first thought of this idea, was that reading the Japanese version can sometimes actually help with my Chinese, or vice versa. For example, if I know how something should be said in Japanese, and then I read the Chinese equivalent in the Chinese version, I can then see how you would convey the same thing in that language – which can sometimes be nothing like what you would normally say in English in that same situation! So it’s a good cultural learning opportunity too. Total amaze balls. I’m so impressed with this idea πŸ‘

The story seems quite interesting too. It would be something that I would want to read, even if I didn’t have this overarching goal of improving my language skills. In fact, I’m refraining big time from just picking up the English version and reading it in one sitting! πŸ˜‚

But I also suffer from the problem of being too bogged down with the “learning” aspect of it, and not just enjoying it as a light-hearted read. I don’t understand every single word of any book in English that I read, so I should try and do the same here. Of course if I can’t read more than half the sentence, then some learning is in order πŸ˜‚ But if I can read the majority of it, then I should just try and get the gist of what they’re trying to say, rather than disrupting the flow of the reading to refer, once again, to the dictionary. If I try and do this some more, hopefully I can soon find a happy medium between learning and entertainment 😊

Exciting times ahead! (Hopefully!)

Relaxed and carefree

I woke up today feeling so relaxed and carefree. It’s a Saturday, and we have no Chinese class, no dancing competition, no dance lesson, nothing. We were free πŸ˜‚ I sometimes forget what it’s like to have a free day, until one rolls around and greets me warmly with open arms πŸ€—

We took our time leaving the house, simply because we could 😊 I read a bit more of one of my other books, Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty. The book is set in Sydney, so in similar vein to Crazy Rich Asians which is set in Singapore, it was cool reading all the familiar places in Sydney that I know intimately well. Harbour Bridge, George Street, The Rocks, the Fish Markets, Anzac Bridge… I felt like I was almost back there. It doesn’t take much effort for me to conjure up images of the city and visualise myself going around. I know it too well. So I could easily picture the characters in the book walking/driving around and basically just leading their fictional lives.

We then went and had lunch at this Japanese restaurant down the road. I think this place will become one of our regular haunts. The food is really good. Plus it’s owned / run by Japanese people, so they’re very polite. And of course I can practice my Japanese while we’re there 😊

They also have a collection of Japanese manga on their shelves, which customers can read while they’re in the restaurant. I have come to think that reading manga is one of the funner ways to learn a foreign language. I just need to find a series to get into, which is not only good for someone learning the language, but also a genre that I would really enjoy – and hence persevere and push through the obvious reading difficulties!

After lunch, we made our way to the annual Pet Expo! I love going to the Expo, if only just to see the competitions that they hold. Today we happened to sit in front of an Aussie judge who was judging some of my favourite breeds: Maine Coone, Exotic Shorthair, Persian, and British Shorthair. Only problem is, N is allergic to cats! He even reacts to Kitty sometimes πŸ˜” He was saying how he should’ve brought a mask with him to the Expo today 😷 Well we did sit right in front of the judge, so that probably didn’t help matters!

After the Expo, I went home to rest while N went over to our friends’ place for dinner. I was invited too, but since his wife and kids were still overseas, I figured I’d give the two boys some boy time πŸ˜‚ Plus I wanted to get a bit more rest, since this cold is still lingering around 🀧 And we have a comp in a week’s time, so not much resting is going to happen between now and then, so I figured I should take any opportunity to rest up while I can.

Remember the daily mantra that I mentioned back in January? Well I completely forgot about it (already! 😳), and only just remembered it last night. So I reinstated it today: “no trading”. I wasn’t allowed to read anything about trading, no books, no blogs; I wasn’t allowed to review my trades; and I wasn’t even allowed to think about trading. I’m getting unhealthily obsessed, and that’s not a good thing. So I’m telling myself to take the day off. Heck, probably the whole weekend off. My brain needs to switch off and have absolutely nothing to do with trading for just a few days; I want to come back to it fresh on Monday.

So I’m distracting myself this weekend, gaining traction on my other goals instead 😊

My lingering cold

I actually feel worse today compared to yesterday. Ugh. I still did some trading and I still went for our Ballroom lesson, but I skipped Latin practice as I just didn’t have the energy for it πŸ˜”

Our friends here keep saying that I’m sick all the time. I guess it’s relative – coz they didn’t know me back in Oz when I was sick virtually every month! Ok slight exaggeration, but it probably wasn’t far from that πŸ˜” The weather in SG agrees much more with my constitution. Even with the constant walking in and out of aircon places here!

We went and grabbed some Japanese for dinner, a late dinner at around 9:30pm. I love how there are still quite a few options for a late dinner here, especially with our finishing late on most nights during the week. SG is for night owls, which suits us just fine 😊 Our morning lark friends and family struggle a bit when they’re here, with the lack of open shops in the morning for them. I am rarely (if ever?!) inconvenienced in the same way πŸ˜‚

Easter Saturday

We went and had breakfast down the road this morning, at a cafe that we haven’t yet tried in the 3+ years that we’ve lived in the area. I may be heading back to buy some of their bread on a regular basis, they’re very tasty! 🍞

We went to IKEA to check out some alternative dining table options. We don’t have a proper dining table; we just have a bench that can open up to create more bench space, and we use that as our dining table. We rarely use it as a dining table, I guess because it’s a bit of an effort to pull it out and set up as a table. If a proper dining table was there, I assume we’d use it a lot more often. But then if we move, we’d have to reassess our furniture requirements… So the question once again goes back to do we move or not move… If something comes up that we really really like, then yes, we will probably move, but it’d have to be pretty damn impressive to get us to move, coz we really like it where we are, even if the apartment is quite small. So let’s see…

Speaking of the apartment, we just chillaxed back at home for the rest of the afternoon, before heading over to Suntec to watch Ready Player One at the movies πŸŽ₯ A lot of 80s references, that was pretty cool 😊

So another relaxing day today. It’s turning out to be quite a chilled Easter 🐣