Nespresso got me to learn some Chinese

I went and bought Nespresso capsules the other day, I forgot to mention it. They sometimes have these special packs of 8-10 different sleeves, and when I went this time ’round, they had a pack full of all the strong flavoured ones – ie all my favourites! So there was no hesitation, I bought it straight away.

When I got home and unpacked them to put them away, I discovered that this current promotion had a Chinese New Year theme. Yes, I can be that oblivious to advertising! I would be an advertiser’s nightmare ๐Ÿ˜‚ (although I’m sure they get me in other subliminal ways, those sly bastards hahaha). I should’ve known, though, since I live in Singapore and CNY is just around the corner!

Anyway, I also noticed that the sales assistant had given me a pack of red envelopes with my purchase! Those red envelopes that you’re supposed to put money in and give to kids and young adults. Our Chinese teacher said that the whole thing is rather stressful in China nowadays, with the amounts going in the envelopes getting exceedingly higher and higher, and that thankfully the craziness hasn’t reached Singapore (yet?!). I can imagine it being rather stressful if there are a ton of kids in your extended family. How in the world are you supposed to finance CNY if you’re putting in S$100+ in each envelope and there are a bajillion kids?! ๐Ÿ˜ณ

I actually give them to the security guards in our building here (not S$100, though! ๐Ÿ˜†) I think it’s a nice gesture to thank them for their work in keeping the place safe (even though it’s SG, I know! One of the safest countries in the world ๐Ÿ˜†) and just generally humming along, and also to wish them luck and prosperity for the year ahead.

I thought the red envelopes from Nespresso were quite pretty. And they also had some Chinese on them, which I couldn’t read/understand. This is one problem with learning to read Chinese, it’s not like you can just “sound it out”. You either know it or you don’t. Apparently you can sorta guess the meaning and pronunciation sometimes, based on the components in the character, but I’m not quite at that level yet…! They are getting us to practice that “guessing” in our textbook though, and it is pretty cool when I do figure it out correctly.

But having said that, I could in fact read one of the idioms and could figure out roughly what it was trying to say! ๐Ÿ‘

ไธ‡ไบ‹ๅคงๅ‰ (wร n shรฌ dร  jรญ) – I gave it a go and translated this as “may 10,000 big, lucky things come your way”. I looked it up afterwards and the dictionary translated it as “everything is fine”, “all is well with the world”. I think I prefer my version! ๐Ÿ˜Š Coz mine has more punch, and seems to be more in line with well wishes for CNY. That’s what I’ve slowly started to realise with the Chinese language: it is very rich and full of meaning, jam packed in just four words. I will ask our teacher to explain and get his idea on this particular idiom too ๐Ÿ˜Š

Anyhoo… Update on today: I’ve almost finished my current fiction novel Crazy Rich Asians. It’s quite funny, as some people have already told me. I can’t wait to find out what happens at the end! I wish I could read faster… Book 2 is already beckoning me ๐Ÿ˜†

I already have five other books on loan from the library too, four of which I’ve already started reading. Is that bad, reading so many books concurrently?? Or would you finish one book before starting another? It seems to be working fine for me at the moment. I tend to pick up whichever book I feel like reading at any given time. Two of the books are trading related though, so technically they’re more for my work, so it’s really just three that I’m reading for fun. I also have ten books already on my shortlist ๐Ÿ˜Š I’m definitely going to get good value from my library membership this year! ๐Ÿ‘


A deluge of happiness and excitement

Man, today was one helluva deluge of good things! It would’ve been nice to have gotten all the good news sprinkled throughout the week, so that all the happiness and excitement could’ve been more evenly spread out, rather than this one huge spike today. Nonetheless, good news is good news so I’ll take it however way it comes! ๐Ÿ˜†

N had a very early start today, having left the house probably close to 6:30am for a 7am meeting. For a night owl like me, that is just inhumane hahaha But apparently the cost of the trains at that ridiculous time was about 1/3 the normal price. A third! And a train ticket is something like 80 cents normally anyway, so 1/3 of that is pennies! Ok slight exaggeration, but you get my point: it’s freaking CHEAP AS!! Hahaha Very impressive!

So anyway, his getting ready in the wee hours of this morning obviously interrupted my own slumber, and once he left, I just went straight back to sleep.

I was woken up a few hours later – by Kitty throwing up ๐Ÿคฎ And it was at this time that I remembered that we had her vet appointment today – which then dawned on me, after checking what the time was, that I had to get ready ASAP in order to get there on time. I also had to allow for some time to clean up her spew, which thankfully isn’t part of my usual morning routine ๐Ÿ˜† so there was no time for breakfast for either of us.

And wouldn’t you know it, she knew once again that we were going to the vet today! She was hiding under the couch, as has been her routine the last two mornings that we’ve gone to the vet. It was lucky that I just happened to accidentally drop something that magically flew under the couch today, which was what coaxed her out. I didn’t have to prod her out or anything today phewww ๐Ÿ˜… I nabbed her before she could find yet another hiding spot, and quickly put her into her carrier. Such a cheeky little one!

While I was getting ready to go to the vet, I received a text from Asus saying that my laptop was ready. O-M-G. FINALLY. After what felt like almost a month, it is finally ready. OK, I just checked, it’s exactly three weeks to this day. That’s a looonnnggg time without a laptop, man. So of course I am now totally keen to do some trading stuff that I haven’t been able to do on the iPad (or stuff that I just prefer doing on my laptop). Sooo happyyy! I should put on a trade in celebration ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰ hahaha!

And then, as if the stars are in perfect alignment, I got confirmation that my registrations for various trading accounts have now been confirmed! So after getting stuffed around for over a month now, I am getting that little bit closer to trading cryptos…!! ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

Seriously, all this good news is just a bit too much for one day!

Of course, one piece of bad news has to help balance it all out: our neighbours have returned ๐Ÿ˜ž They’re overseas uni students, apparently, and they have no concept of how to behave in a foreign country:

  • I’ve seen spilt coffee or tea just outside their front door, which they didn’t even bother to clean up;
  • They leave their shoes strewn all over the PUBLIC area outside their front door;
  • A few of them got a bit physical out in the corridor once ๐Ÿ˜ฒ We must’ve been overseas when this happened, coz we didn’t hear the commotion. But remnants of blood on the wall alerted us, so of course we told security, who then proceeded to tell us about the fight. Security too have obviously had issues with them.

So no, I’m not terribly impressed that uni is starting back up soon ๐Ÿ˜” It’s been so peaceful this month when they’ve all been away…

But despite their return, I will definitely have to count today as a kickass awesome day ๐Ÿ‘

Japanese groceries and an expensive membership fee

I went to Meidiya today, a Japanese grocery store here. In similar vein to the salt (see yesterday’s post ๐Ÿ˜†), we’d also run out of brown rice ๐Ÿ˜ณ and Meidiya stocks the brand that I like. Ironically though, I bought a completely different brand anyway ๐Ÿคช

I was also hoping that they stocked this matcha au lait instant coffee that I first tried in Japan when we were there last year. It’s like a latte but infused with matcha green tea flavour. I can’t remember if I mentioned it? But I absolutely loved it and I couldn’t get enough of it while we were there. So I told myself to go and check Meidiya when we return to SG to see if they stocked it there.

img_5327-1 And they do! I found it! I was so excited! But I’d already had two coffees today, which is already double what I normally have, so I have to leave the matcha au lait for another day. That is, tomorrow ๐Ÿ˜Š

I also decided to FINALLY become a library member today. I don’t know why it took me so long to make this decision. I think it was the relatively expensive annual fee levied on foreigners here. I’ve never had to pay for library membership before, so it was quite a mental obstacle for me to overcome. But one of my goals this year is to read more, and paying the annual fee will be much cheaper than buying all the books that I want to read. Further, I now feel compelled to read even more, just to make sure I get my money’s worth from this annual fee that I just paid.

So I borrowed this book on trading that I’ve been wanting to read for aaaages now. And based on the price on Amazon, I would almost have already paid for my library membership with this one book alone. So I’m not feeling too bad anymore ๐Ÿ˜Š But yes, the downside is that I can’t make notes like I would be able to in my own copy. Nor can I just go back to it for future reference. So borrowing these sorts of books may not be the best thing, but for now, making my own notes while I’m reading will have to suffice. It’s also making me finish the book as quickly as possible, as I have to return it in three weeks’ time. So hopefully as the year progresses, I’ll get through a whole heap of books (ideally more than what I thought would be possible for me to finish in a year ๐Ÿ˜‰), and eventually get a good return from this “investment” of mine ๐Ÿ˜Š

Smart Kitty and a lack of resources

Kitty and I made our biweekly trip to the vet this morning. She now somehow knows that we are going to the vet. She’ll be happily sitting with me on the couch in the living room while I have my morning coffee, and then when I come back out into the living room after getting changed, she’s nowhere to be found. I’ve now discovered where she hides: under the couch! She hardly ever goes under there unless she’s scared, eg when there’s a thunderstorm happening outside, she may sit under there to hide. But now, she seems to be starting a habit of “resting” under there, just before we have to go see her doctor. Hmmm… Coincidence? With her, I think not ๐Ÿ˜‚ Let’s see what she does on Thursday when we next go to the vet…

We have run out of salt hahaha I am such an under-buyer that I have waited until we’ve completely run out of salt before I will go and buy more ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ Our dinner may now be a tad under seasoned as a result…

Oh and my laptop is STILL under repair omg. It has been almost a month now and I feel like I’ve done next to nothing on my trading as a result. I’ve done a little bit, but nowhere near as much as I would have if I had my laptop. Sighhh… Hopefully soon, very soon…

A new blog?

I had this interesting thought today: what if I started a productivity blog? After starting this blog, I have discovered that I am always looking for ideas on how to be more productive, trying things out and tweaking things to better suit my life and my personality. Why don’t I share these experiences and findings with other people, and they can then share theirs with me, and we can learn from one another? Anyway, it was just a thought I had today. I might mull over it some more over the next few days, flesh out the idea and see if it’s something that I want to pursue. Especially given that I already have this blog – which I have committed to writing in on a daily basis – and all the other things that I am already currently doing, this would be yet another thing that I am adding into my life. So yes, this will require a bit more thought…. But productivity, happiness and self improvement are definitely things that I am constantly reading up on, so it would be a topic that I could write many posts on! ๐Ÿ˜‚

Ironically, though, I didn’t feel very productive today! ๐Ÿ˜† I did stick to my consistency theme, so I can pat myself on the back regarding that. Chinese, trading, dancing and home, all moved at least an inch forward today ๐Ÿ‘ So I shouldn’t be so hard on myself! But sometimes the progress just seems so slowwww, y’know? Sighhh…

I actually didn’t feel like sticking with my consistency theme today and just going “f*k it, what’s one day”. But that’s the whole point: you do it regardless of how you’re feeling. Consistency each and every day. Here are a few quotes on this point to end this post – and the day – to provide some motivation:

“A little progress each day adds up to big results.” – Satya Nani

“Success isn’t owned; it’s leased. And rent is due every single day.” – JJ Watt

My mantra for the day

I got another cool idea from the Happier podcast: a daily mantra. It’s sorta similar to the one-word theme for the year, but this one is for each day. I like this too, it makes me focus on what I want to achieve during the day, and it’s a very quick way to remember what I want out of the day.

So today I chose “finish”: I wanted to finish doing some stuff around the house; finish my Chinese homework and also finish the training modules for my trading. Ambitious, yes, but a very appropriate word, don’t you think?! And no, I didn’t finish everything, but I got through a helluva lot of it! ๐Ÿ˜Š Now I have to come up with a mantra for tomorrow / the weekend. I don’t think I’ll choose the same word, it just doesn’t sit right for our typical weekends… Lemme think about it and I’ll let you know tomorrow what I choose ๐Ÿค”

The weather in Singapore this week has been ridiculously COLD. It’s Singapore. It is not known for its cool weather. So when the temperature hovers all day – ALL DAY – in the low 20s, then you know we’re in bizarro world. A cold snap in winter. Seriously. This has to be the coldest January we’ve experienced since moving here. Heck, I’m wearing jeans and a cardigan! Highly unusual, as my default attire is shorts and a t-shirt. My wardrobe has not been designed for this freezation weather ๐Ÿ˜‚

It’s even made the news, that’s how crazy this is ๐Ÿ˜‚

It all feels very slow going…

It was one of those days where progress on everything just seemed really really slow… But nonetheless, I am sticking with my consistency theme as best I can. I’ve fallen off the wagon a few times already, but I am getting right back on the next day. I’m still not at the consistency level that I want to be operating at, but I’m working my way there.

Laptop Update

I got a text from Asus today saying that the spare part that they need to fix my USB ports is scheduled to arrive on the 17th of Jan. ย 17th!! Thatโ€™s a whole week away! OMG, I was hoping to have my laptop by the middle of this week, so I can get some work done on my trading. ย I guess Iโ€™ll just have to do as much as I can on my iPad in the meantime. ย But itโ€™s just not the same…. Wahhhh!!ย ๐Ÿ˜ฉ

(Lack of) Progress with my Chinese

I had yet another failed Chinese conversation today ๐Ÿ˜” My focus this year is on listening and speaking, as clearly they are in need of some major effort ๐Ÿ˜‚

Iโ€™m standing at the self-service stamp machine at the post office:

Man: ไป€ไนˆไป€ไนˆๅฏไปฅไนฐ้‚ฎ็ฅจๅ—๏ผŸ

<< I actually heard โ€œcan buy stampsโ€!! Omg! ๐Ÿ˜† So I assume he asked if you could buy stamps from the machine >>

K: hai

<< Japanese comes to mind omg ๐Ÿ˜ณ) >>

Man: ไป€ไนˆไป€ไนˆไป€ไนˆ cash ๅ—๏ผŸ

<< All I heard was โ€œcashโ€ hahaha and I knew that machine only accepts NETS (EFTPOS type thing in Oz) >>

K: NETS <<points at NETS symbol>> ่ฟ™ไธช

Man: ไฝ ็Ÿฅ้“ไป€ไนˆไป€ไนˆไป€ไนˆ๏ผŸ

<< All I heard was โ€œdo you knowโ€ something something >>

K: ๆˆ‘ไธ็Ÿฅ้“

<< My โ€œI donโ€™t knowโ€ response wasnโ€™t to his question, but more that I had no idea what he just asked me! >>

Arghhh! So the slow and painful process of improving my listening and speaking continues…