Saturday, March 26, 2016

Our Second Shopping Trip to Johor Bahru! Plus Some Long Queueing

My friend decided on a whim, I suppose, that we both would make a one day trip to Johor Bahru which is across the causeway from Singapore on a Saturday. And this mind you, was just after her almost one month trip in US. Where she gets the energy from? lol..but she has a travel bug in her so can't blame her.

Anyway, it was quite an oversight on our part because when we were at the causeway, there was such a huge crowd!!!! OMG. Never seen like this before. I mean I've been in lines before but this was way way WAY too long and so much so, there isn't quite a line. It was like a mass of people congregating for a concert except that these people weren't as excited but bored and disgruntled.

Oh friend came to the conclusion that it was the school holidays and duh, I worked in a school and how can I overlooked this?! Haiz, so there we were stuck in the queue and the queue cutters were getting on my nerves. But what can I do coz I was tired and famish and I was leaning on my friend's luggage trolley, which seemed like a joke at first coz we were not even staying, turned out to be useful later on. It was great as a crutch too for super tired and grouchy me.

It reminded me of the time when I queued up for LKY's memorial for almost 6 hours late late late at night where the air was still but over here, it was a bit more comfy as the place was air conditioned. So I didn't feel like fainting except that I kept myself motivated with thoughts of food that we were fully going to go for first thing when we escape this hell hole.

Anyway, escape we did and it really slashed our shopping hours..hrmph. So we had to make it chop! chop! We had a rough idea where and what to do there like my friend definitely want..I mean..NEED shoes. I need food, lol.

We had our lunch at Nando's where she shared her good news that she had been promoted to manager. Wow!! Never will I imagine myself to be a manager in life but heck, my friend here is one and I'm so happy for her! Good things always happen to good people. Sure everyone goes through their fair share of ups and downs and my friend is no exception but I just love how she manages her life and take things in good stride and have such a big heart. God bless her.

After our lunch, we had our favourite Auntie Anne's pretzel coz it's so freaking cheap in Malaysia compared to ahem..Singapore. We bought it at a special offer of 3 for 10 Ringgit. I treated her to the pretzel just coz I wanted to :)

Then we were off to a nearby supermarket to find chocs for my mum in a particular brand but unfortunately, there wasn't any so there was no time to waste and while eating our pretzels, we move on to the whole point of being

My friend bought some shoes and I bought one pair of minty coloured sandals which I loved and bought for 20 Ringgit. The clothes are more ex though and I would rather buy from Cotton On Singapore than in Malaysia. I think they also know Singaporeans love going shoe shopping here so there was so many shoe shops. It's just a matter of finding that gem of a shoes coz honestly, most shoes are not that nice looking, lol. But trust my  friend's eagle eyes to spot nice heels for herself. 

Then she proceeded to do her manicure and pedicure which would take her an hour so I had that whole hour to myself. I went to Popular and bought this big roll of foam tape for my crafting and a brush. After that I was too lazy to walk around so I chilled at Coffee Bean drinking my favourite iced chai tea latte. The service was pretty slow though there was not a crowd but oh well, at least I got to plonk myself somewhere and enjoy the free wifi :) yay, connected to civilization, haha..

I think I got carried away coz I got a message from my friend asking for my whereabouts and I quickly rushed back. She got more shoes and I got me some clothes, actually just one for myself and some shirts for my bro and then some food for the fam.

We had dinner at another of our favourite when we are in Malaysia and that is the Old Town White Coffee. Though we weren't really hungry coz we had a late lunch, my friend was worried we would go hungry later coz we might have to queue again like earlier. Oh boy.

We had just just enough time to go to mall nearby and find that elusive chocolates for my mum or forget about coming home, haha. My friend went shoe shopping again and I separated from her to go a supermarket after asking for direction. I finally got it so can go home, yay! Just when the mall announced that it was closing.

After that it was another hour of queueing, sigh...and halfway through, my friend felt a little unwell coz she said she ate a bit much just now. I made her eat a sweet and thankfully, the queue wasn't as bad as earlier although my feet were hurting lots coz of the sandals I was wearing which was starting to get more uncomfy but I had to hang in there.

I got a bit lost later on when I had to step out of the queue for the bus to Singapore to go to the toilet and I couldn't find my friend even though I walked up and down the single line at least 3 times. I started to panic and there was no way I could contact her. Then I figured she probably was right at the front coz I took awhile in the toilet and she wasn't at the back either. So I was right. I had to detour a bit to get to her and I actually wanted to re-queue and my friend was thinking, are you crazy?! luckily I wasn't beaten up for cutting queue coz they were too tired anyway, lol.

We managed to find a good seat right at the back of the bus that gave enough space for her trolley bag. It took a while to get to the Singapore checkpoint and all we wanted was to get a cab home once we clear the customs. Luckily taxis weren't so hard to find although the taxi driver was pretty picky about the passengers and was willing to take us just coz we were going to two places. The earlier people weren't very happy though.

We divided our things in the luggage, which I shouldn't make fun of anywhere in the future for a similar trip anymore since it was so useful, and then called it a night.

What an adventure...queueing. Oh and shopping too. Sometimes I wish I have a decent pair of feet that I have no problem in finding shoes for but oh well, it's just my shortcoming. Other than that, what I love most was the company I'm with and buying things for the fam and buying a nice top that got my mum's approval. She didn't like the other one though but yah, it's also one of the reasons why I don't quite fancy shopping for clothes coz she is very particular about it. 

Next time, our game plan is not to go during the school hols or even the public hols. Never ever. We will return though, one day but I would wanna go further KL. Yay, future plan.

Meanwhile, enjoy the mostly food pics below!

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Friday, March 25, 2016

Graduation Looming Ahead..Coz I Passed My Last Module!!

Last Tuesday, I got my results, albeit a bit later than the rest of my classmates because I was in the shower and when I checked my phone half an hour after the release of the results, I had over 76 messages!! I was confident that I would at least pass but it's a matter of what grades I was going to get only. I had some technical problems initially accessing the website and then had trouble viewing the results until I clicked on the academic transcript and had to scroll to the bottom as it was the last module.

Well, I was happy no C again, yay!! I actually didn't do so well for one of the tests that I got a C grade. And I didn't want to get a C as a final grade and knowing that somehow, I would manage to pull up my grades as I always do, I did what I can to ensure I am not disappointed with the final outcome. Even if it meant isolating myself, studying long hours in the library and absorbing as much as much as I can. But come to think of it, even if I got a C, albeit some disappointment, it is still a determining factor in me getting a diploma in May, which should be the ultimate goal, and not if I got As or Bs or even Ds. 

The point is, we all who stayed until the 5th module, didn't give up. Sure our numbers have since dwindled down as the course gets harder and harder. Time management is also an issue for me as I'm juggling with running an online shop. Then my own learning disabilities of understanding concepts sometimes take a toll on me as I worry about how much can I remember and how can I learn within a short period of time. But every time, I am confident that God will help me though these difficult times like when I almost give up doing the 1st module when I had to do oral  presentations and excel formulas which I struggled with. How business law was a pain for me as people seemed to understand the lesson concepts well during tutorials while I had no freaking clues. In the end, I managed to get an A for Business Law despite my dismal test results, getting a B for my Management even though I had failed the test with just 7 marks and then getting praises for my final oral presentation as a group. I learnt on my own the excel formulas and getting them right so I wouldn't struggle anymore during lessons and eventually got a B as my final grade. These are all my achievements.

I am proud that I have come this far and even though I could have gone further with a degree, I thought that the next best thing that I can get is a recognised diploma, it is good enough for now. Of course I have big dreams of achieving more in future like getting a degree but we will take one step at a time.

If you think working full time and studying part time is hard, you are absolutely right. But it doesn't mean that it can't be done. I had thoughts about why I put myself through this like as though I absolutely need it, but I know I do need it for a better future. So tell yourself that now. Don't do it for now only, do it for the future. Every struggle that you go through now will be worth it. And I'm speaking from the truth and my own experience :)

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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Young Lives Gone....Safety Measures to be in Place

It shouldn't have happened. Two young lives lost because a safety protocol wasn't in place to ensure there was no oncoming train while they were doing their maintenance work on the rails. It's the saddest thing to know and even though we don't know them personally, we grieved alongside their families and friends because this shouldn't have happened at all for two people who just joined the service recently and were going on the job training. 

But like what had been said by Mr Lee Hsien Loong, we should keep our speculations to a minimum as investigations are on-going although I didn't like what I'm reading such as knowing no measures were done to warn the oncoming train. In the line of duty, we may sometimes disregard safety as we might think that nothing could happen or that it can be quite a hassle putting safety in place but in any circumstances, just a small or simple action on ensuring safety can help in leaps and bounds to ensure nothing bad happens. 

I hope that during their investigation, they should go into details what are the lapses in their safety regulations to ensure such tragic incidents do not ever occur again. But it also highlights the fact that the maintenance workers have such high risk jobs while we, on the ground, complain about frequent train breakdowns and what not. I also hope that after this, we are more sensitive to the well being of these people in this service line who ensure that our traffic journeys are smoother and safer. They bear the brunt of our unhappiness when a breakdown happens and are so calm and patient in directing the heavy flow of human traffic and addressing our concerns even though the fault isn't theirs. 

A salute to these service line people and hope that no more of such tragic incidents happen again in future as heavier safety procedures are put in place to protect the lives of these people.

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Sunday, March 20, 2016

Tougher Financial Times Ahead..But I'll Manage it

I've been writing in my hardcover notebook which I didn't intend to buy, coz like I need another notebook, but I wanted the paper bag to put in a box card. I didn't write on it every day but I find it better than having to start the laptop, log on to blogger and type away as compared to opening a page and start writing pronto.

So yesterday, I wrote about how nervous I was about whether I would be getting the performance bonus. Then an hour into writing, I finally go the email and I thought for a moment, I was even lucky to get the email and then when I looked at the amount I received, I was so disappointed. I knew that it wouldn't be as grand as last year knowing that my boss wasn't very good to me. Also because I accidentally read a report and it wasn't a glowing review about my performance. So I was somewhat mentally prepared but nevertheless, still disappointed. It was the lowest percentage one could get as compared to not getting any. 

But whatever it is, she's no longer there and this year, I have it a little easier with the new boss even though I wished she wouldn't keep asking me the same questions and talk a lot. But I leave that post for another day. Besides the mental preparation, I've also been rather careful on my own expenses because I want to save more money and knowing that this year, I may not have it as good as last year financially. Even though there were occasions I have to clear some outstanding amounts, I didn't fall back too hard.  

I just want to put this episode behind me and even though the amount is pretty dismal, I still have to stash some cash away and sacrifice not buying the things that I wanted to buy with the performance bonus. It's not as much as I would like to but it's better than nothing I suppose. I would still use some to pay off some outstanding bills too as I want to aim to reduce my debt this year. There will be a time and place for me to buy the things that I want out of leisure but not of importance at this moment like a new bag or new make item.

Also, who knows, because of this circumstance that I am in, I would push even harder to bring in revenue. Let's put a positive spin to it and I don't wish to dwell on it too much today because I'm done being miserable about it yesterday.

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Our Bus Journey - From Past, to the Present & Future Bus Transportation

A week ago, my brother and I went to an indoor bus exhibition that chronicles how buses evolved from the 60's up to the present time and also how future buses may look like and we even got to board on past, present and future buses and man, the difference between each one was so different. I remembered back in the 80s I hated taking the bus because the journeys back then were so much longer, there was no aircon and the infamous windows that could not close properly. The seats were also uncomfortable making the whole bus journey so freaking uncomfortable. Then in the early 90s, they introduced aircon in some bus services and the improvements just got better and better up to the present times that even the older folks and the wheelchair bound passengers could board safely. 

Now who cares about taxi rides, lol..which I so depended on back then in those early days. But as I read through this history of bus services, I realized the older generation had it tougher than us. Scrambling for the last bus and then risking from falling over people on the bumpy rides as the roads back then were not as smooth as now. It was still bumpy when I was in school taking bus rides because somehow, I would hate taking certain bus services because for some reason, I would ALWAYS fall over someone. The bus mechanism was not smooth and throughout the bus journey, it was so jerky that I kept holding on for dear life.

Of course I still do that especially on crowded buses but it was much smoother now except for of course, some random jam breaks. In any case, safety always come first and don't always take it for granted. I would say the new future buses look like a dream with usb charger at every seat (cool huh?!) and two staircases, one at the front and the other one at the back just like the London buses. 

We were also excited to board an immobile bus from the 60s that was actually refurbished to give it a brand new look that looked nothing like the state it was in when they first found it at a junkyard. The seats were not as much as now so I had no idea how the people back then rode on buses with so little seats and I could imagine most of them were standing on jerky bus rides, no less. 

Looking through history, and based on my past experience as well, I now truly appreciate what we have as compared to our neighbouring countries in terms of our transportation, be it the buses or the train services. Of course, breakdowns always sucks but they're doing their best already to keep it to a minimum. In any case, there are alternative routes that we can take, even if the journeys are slightly longer, but it's better than not having any. 

The exhibitions are on the next weekend at Vivocity and you can google Our Bus Journey for more detains where their next locations will be. The bus enthusiasts were also there with their own booth and I remembered seeing them before, all these young looking kids, with so much interest in the London bus back then. They had such extensive knowledge on buses while we normal people just view a bus as, bus, and they even had memorabilia which are actually taken from the real thing and they kept them as their prized collection. Looking through their collections, I'm amazed how passionate they are over their hobbies and with this level of enthusiasm and passion despite their young age, I hope I can replicate it as well in terms of my own hobby be it in writing or papercrafting.

For now, enjoy the pictures!!

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Monday, March 14, 2016

When Achieving Body Confidence is Hard

This isn't the first time I'm addressing this issue but I thought it's worth revisiting as it will also help me clear some thoughts on it. I've been battling weight issues for the longest time ever and though at one point, I thought I had it under control, but after I stopped the medication, it's been nothing but a struggle although I kept the habits such as going to the gym, walking as a form of exercise and avoiding sinful (but oh so yummeh) food at bay like you'll never see me eating a coconut milk rich food again. 

Still, it's been a struggle. I've  had a love hate relationship with food although I do enjoy my food especially food that I don't often eat and it's a welcome change from oatmeal which honestly, is a nasty tasting food, lol.  I try to be committed to eating at least 3 weekdays but I kept going at just 2 although if you asked me, that's a huge improvement already since there was one period last year where I stopped eating completely although preparation wasn't so hard as I tried to make the process as simple as I could. Basically, it was just oats, flaxseed and water. No milk and I guess that was why it isn't as tasty as a regular food but the benefits are a lot. It's just me, haha.

But at least one improvement is that I am consuming more plain water during lunch and after lunch and while I started struggling again with drinking as well you know, it's plain without the added sugar, I had to force myself to finish the bottle before topping it up again. 

Come to think of all this, it's just a matter of overcoming the mental part of it. Forget about the tastelenssness of plain ol' oatmeal and plain water. Think about the health benefits for the long run. Suffer now and enjoy later. I don't want to be bogged down by numerous health ailments as I grow older. The way food is being prepared nowadays where we're actually consuming more and more processed food is very scary. People focus more on entertaining their tastebuds instead of thinking about health because well, we only live once and we might as well enjoy the food we eat. That is true but it's also about having a balanced meal too and balancing those 'sinful' food with wholeseome food as well. 

I know that if I continue to eat right by cutting down on sugar and exercise regularly by including physical movement like walking on a daily basis, the weight will naturally drop off. But there's a slew of media influencers as well that are not exactly what I call on the lighter side, being on the plus size, but they are full of confidence and they want other girls to feel great at any size. I think that this is a good thing because of how we ladies tend to put ourselves down easily with our constant thoughts about our physical appearance that so much so, it can eat us up from inside and making us lose self esteem as though life is worthless because we don't look a certain size or body shape.

This also clashes with my belief about wanting to look slimmer so that clothes fit better on me which naturally gives me a boost of self confidence. I don't like having this extra tummy bulge or wobbly butt but I try not to think too much. I think about HOW I can improve on it so that I will look better. But while I am at it, I try to focus about the benefits my body is giving me right now rather than how it looks physically. To me, it's far better than to focus on how other girls look like. Instead of feeling down, I should feel motivated seeing how other people have managed to achieve their ideal weight or their physical appearance.

Don't get me wrong. To me, it's also about staying healthy because these girls who come across as plus size, they are active and they don't just sit on the couch, watch tv and just eat. They're naturally of that size and embrace them because they find that fretting over their physical appearance by caring about how they look constantly is making them very unhappy. Once they start to have body confidence, they achieve so much in life because they don't let other people dictate their happiness by stooping down to their level.

Again I emphasize that I don't wanna look so skinny but to look physically more pleasing, at least in my eyes while staying healthy, is a big plus for me as I feel like it's one step towards gaining body confidence. But I don't want to make it look like I will only be happy if I reach a certain weight or body shape. I wanna be happy in whatever size I am although to be frank, it's easier said than done but I do try my best not to let it 'get' me to a point I get so depressed. I just carry on life as per normal and concentrate on doing better in terms of making better food choices to nourish my body rather than just thinking about I wanna lose some weight. After all, my body is just a vessel to receive great things and this goes beyond eating healthy.

I hope you get my point and if you're somewhat in the same situation as me, don't give up and look forward instead to a healthier lifestyle rather than only looking forward to an ideal weight or body size :)

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i Light Festival Marina Bay 2016

Last Monday, my brother and I went on our 4th i Light Festival which started at 7.30pm and end at 11pm. It's a very interesting concept that is not only free but intriguing as well for the visitors as the art installations educate the visitors on the different perspectives on light and shadows through their installations. Some of them are also interactive as the visitors get to be part of the exhibit, for instance, the angel wings with interchanging neon lights, where they get to take instagram worthy pics. There was one where a visitor can have a karaoke session and another which played music based on movement as they walk underneath a row of lamps hung above them. Other installations also made use of movement, vibration and even the atmosphere for them to come alive.  It's seriously fun and you can enjoy the more than 20 exhibits under the cool night breeze. 

Another interesting factor for this year is that more than 50% are from Singaporeans while the rest are international. See, we can be very creative as well and we're not just workaholics who work for the money, haha. While I didn't get to see all of them, because we would have to walk pretty far as they were not really close together, so far what I liked was this dome like structure with lights that changed colours from the outside and on the inside, the dome was actually made of mirrors in hexagon like shapes. Actually we were viewing the dome from the outside and we didn't realize that actually until someone mentioned to us as a matter of fact that the opening of the dome was actually on the other side. So in other words, we  had been viewing from the backside instead, lol! 

Once we entered, we were greeted with a wall of mirrors and instant reaction was to take a selfie, hehe.

If you're in Singapore or intending to visit Singapore, do come and see the art installations because it's free admission anyway. More deets below when you visit the website and the festival is on until 27 March 2016.

As for now, enjoy the pictures below!

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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Missing School Life but Planning Ahead in Education

So today will officially be two weeks since I last took the papers and to be honest, I'm missing school. It had always been a rush for me to leave work and then waiting for the train during the peak hours, squeezing in for both lines and then having to do some balancing act as I hardly have poles to hold on to and risking falling over.

Okay, perhaps I don't miss the train rides, lol..

But school wise, I do miss it. Fine, I actually miss the lessons more than the test, projects and exams because they are stressful to the max. Like in every story, there is a beginning and an ending. I hope to re-open this chapter again in another institution which is much further from where I last studied but with better future prospects. I am giving  myself 3 years to accumulate some funds without resorting to borrowing and I thought that if I could somehow come up with the money to pay for this education, I believe I can do this too.

I want to take up a degree in business from UniSim and since it's recognised by the government and working in the government line, this degree will be useful for me. But I need at least $15K in order to support my education over there which is why I needed to accumulate the funds first, perhaps for $10K at least and I will come up with the rest later. That will also mean, I have to be more wiser in terms of spending of moolah and then saving also if I were to have the financia means to go that far. It's not going to be easy but I do not think it is impossible. I need to find ways to make money, legally of course, but to do all of the above mentioned, I need a lot of self discipline as well. 

Hope God give me strength in this area as I continue to stay laser focused in achieving this dream of mine.

Meanwhile, let us reminiscine my former schooling life, some of which you might have seen in my previous posts, but they tied together with the theme so here we go again.

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Long Weekend, A Little Rambling & My Lack of Gratitude

The day I discover IG filters It's almost mid week to August..argh. I am in the midst of a long weekend, which sadly will come to ...