More welcome distractions

We flew out of Manila today. But of course we got another round in of local food before we left πŸ˜‚ I’ll write up a review or two shortly in my food blog of some of the places we went to during this short trip.

I got into my head again on the flight. I know what it is that I do: I have no wifi, stuck in this tiny seat up 10 bajillion miles in the air, and sometimes I’m in no mood to watch anything on their entertainment system, so I just listen to music. And then the music somehow starts turning into background noise while I let my mind run loose, contemplating everything from family to our upcoming move to HK to the meaning of life and my role in it. I didn’t get too caught up in my thoughts this trip, at least not as much as I usually do πŸ˜† I was listening to a few songs that we could dance to, so I just ran through a few of our routines in my mind. That was a welcome distraction! πŸ˜‚ And then for some unknown reason, someone sitting near me on the flight piled on his aftershave mid-flight, so the occasional whiff wafting by my seat also randomly jolted me out of any reverie that I could have been in during the flight πŸ˜‚

But now we’re back to reality, and along with it, my apprehension about this upcoming move to HK. I’m trying to change my nervousness to excitement, as the experts say that physiologically your body’s reaction is exactly the same whether you’re scared or excited, and that it’s just what’s playing in your mind that is different. So I’m VERY EXCITED about this move to HK!! πŸ˜‚ SOOO EXCITED!! BRING IT ON!! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚


Wedding Day

It was the day of the wedding that we’d been invited to, the primary reason for our flight to Manila. They had their ceremony in a church, and then the reception was just under 4km away. But with the Manila traffic, this still took at least 15-20mins, can you believe it?? 😲

They had this band Rivermaya play at the reception, and virtually everyone knew the songs that they were playing. I asked one of the guys on our table if this band was famous, and he replied with “SUPER famous!” 🀣 He seemed incredulous that we didn’t know who these guys were πŸ˜‚ I suspect we were the only people in the room who didn’t know this band. They were actually pretty good – well obviously, since the whole room was singing to their songs! So I have to go and listen to a few of them now 😊

And then soon after this band finished their last song, people started heading home. It was actually relatively early (around 10pm), so I was surprised that the wedding was wrapping up already. Chinese weddings seem to finish relatively early too. Maybe it’s just the western weddings that go on and on… πŸ˜†

And then in the Grab on the way back to our hotel, there was a cushion thing on the back of my seat. It was SO comfortable, I couldn’t believe how comfy it was. I was almost falling asleep in the car, which rarely happens! And we got such a good run back to the hotel too: half an hour to travel 14km. I now understand why the time taken to travel around Manila is such a big discussion point with the locals! πŸ˜†

Grabbing our way around Manila

We woke up really late, and by the time we ventured out of the hotel, it was already close to 12 noon πŸ˜‚ Wayyy past the breakfast window at the hotel. So we had to go outside to look for my western breakfast 😊 Luckily I found it πŸ‘

On our way to the cafe, there was this cute little girl walking around clumsily on her own, and I figured her mum or dad was around somewhere just out of sight, perhaps around the corner. We then turned the corner and saw her mum. And their home. Which was basically the footpath. It then explained why she was walking around in just her underwear and with no shoes. F me, that was so heartbreaking πŸ˜” That’s one thing that I can’t handle about South East Asia: seeing the abject poverty. It’s really hard to see people living in such squalid conditions 😞

Having Uber/Grab in Manila makes getting around sooo much easier, especially for tourists who don’t know their way around. So today we got to go to Makati, Pasig and back to Malate where we’re staying. The distance between each of these areas isn’t too far, roughly around 10km, but the traffic is so bad that it could take over an hour to go that distance 😲 Crazy stuff. I couldn’t go by the Google Maps estimates, as they severely underestimated the impact of traffic πŸ˜‚

So in order to get to the wedding on time tomorrow, we’re going to have to at least double the Google Maps time! 😲


With my parents being in town the last few days, they’ve managed to distract me enough to forget all my anxiety about this move to HK. But now that they’re on their flight to their next destination, the planning has resumed, and the stress of it all has also returned πŸ˜”

We are working on a leaving date of 18 November. Removalists are coming 15 November, and we have a few days to clean the house before we hand over the keys. We’re staying at the Fullerton Hotel for the last few days. I thought that’d be a nice way to end our stint in SG, staying in an iconic hotel at Raffles Place right by the Singapore River.

I tracked my parents’ flight to Dublin, and then I started packing for my own trip to Manila this weekend. We’re going to a wedding on Saturday! 😊 At least that also distracted me from all the moving stuff, and being in Manila for the next few days will hopefully continue to distract me.

I watched a Chinese movie on the plane called How Long Will I Love U. In Chinese, it is called θΆ…ζ—Άη©ΊεŒε±…, which I would translate as something like “Living Together Across Time and Space” – which is more closely linked to what the movie is about! Why do they give such random English names that is totally unrelated to the Chinese one?? My loose translation probably isn’t very marketable (and may not even be accurate πŸ˜‚), but surely the guys at the movie company could?! I don’t understand πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ It wasn’t a bad movie, nonetheless 😊

We’re hoping to practise a bit tomorrow, we brought our shoes and everything πŸ˜† Let’s see if we can find somewhere in the hotel to practise…!

The same pattern

Our day pretty much followed the same pattern as yesterday: breakfast at home; lunch outside; activity (we went to the national museum today); then afternoon tea πŸ˜‚ But no dinner tonight, as they had a plane to catch. They left for the airport at 5:30pm – for a 10:30pm flight πŸ˜‚ But at least they’re heading to Changi. They could easily find ways to occupy themselves for a couple of hours at the airport 😊

Their flight took ages to take off, though. I hope they make up the time in the air, as I know that they only have a very small window to change to their next flight when they arrive in Heathrow… 🀞 I’ll be tracking when I get up tomorrow, so hopefully I’ll see some improvement in their time…

Our activity today was visiting the National Museum of Singapore. We didn’t really get to see much of it before my mum’s feet started to get sore, at which point she just wanted to go home. I did get to see the section on SG’s independence and how Lee Kuan Yew got very emotional on tv about breaking the news to the rest of the country. He actually requested that they stop the interview so he could compose himself. It must’ve been such an emotional time. I guessing it would be like if I’ve considered myself Australian my entire life, but NSW decided that it couldn’t remain as a state of the country due to fundamental and irreconcilable differences in beliefs, and all New South Welshmen will from this day forward, call themselves as such, and can no longer call themselves Australian. And that I was part of these discussions between the two governments, but I couldn’t reconcile the differences, and the only choice I had was for NSW to form an independent state. That would be tough. Really tough.

But SG has done very well for itself since that time. I’m still very impressed as to what this tiny nation has done to transform itself in just over fifty years. Totally amazing.

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 πŸ‘ 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 😊

I actually first started watching Inside Out with Japanese dubbing and a Chinese subtitles, just to work on my language skills 😲 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 🀣 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… πŸ˜† 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 😊

I’m feeling all pumped and ready to go through all the clutter in our apartment tomorrow πŸ’ͺπŸ’ͺ 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… 😳 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 😊

The property hunt continues

A second property agent came back to me today, so I went to view another property with him this afternoon. He wasn’t the most friendly: he didn’t shake hands; he didn’t introduce himself: and he didn’t introduce his colleague or whoever the third person was. Not quite how I would do business… πŸ˜’ So obviously this viewing didn’t start off on the best terms.

The building itself is relatively new, but generally we have found that the newer the building, the apartments themselves get smaller and smaller. So despite the property agent saying that this is quite big for a two-bedroom (565 sqft – or just over 50 sqm!), I don’t think we’d be comfortable in an apartment of that size. I couldn’t even figure out how anything larger than a double bed would fit in the main bedroom! 😲 So even though we’ve lived in apartments our entire adult lives, we’ve never stayed in anything that small. So basically we’re going to have to pay more for less in this city. I’m pretty much resigned to this fact already. Faaantastic… πŸ˜”

So with the size of this apartment and the rather uninterested agent, I think we will be giving this one a miss.

So now I’m even more keen for apartment #1 from Saturday!! 🀞🀞 Negotiations have started for it, and we’ve offered a lease start date of 1 November… 😱 So even if there are a few weeks’ overlap between our SG and HK leases, we’d rather pay those few weeks to ensure that we have an apartment in HK that actually ticks a lot of our boxes, knowing just how, ummm, mediocre, HK apartments can be… 🀨

I stumbled across this cute cat at PMQ today, and he just happened to be holding a four-leaf clover πŸ€ I am hoping that this cat brings me/us good luck for our apartment hunting over the next few months!!