Sunday, March 29, 2015
Today is going to be a long day.
Foremost on the agenda today is joining the nation as they bid farewell to the first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew. I promised a few friends I'll join them wait for the cortege to pass by along Commonwealth Avenue before heading to Buona Vista CC to watch the State Funeral service.
But before that...
I'm up at 6AM on a Sunday, ahead of my alarm as usual (LOL!), because I'm going to Mass and then brunch. Today is also Palm Sunday. I expect the church to be packed and the service long. Hehe!
But before that... Lol!
I made the mistake of scheduling a 730 Skype session with a Japanese teacher via italki. Haha! I got home from a dinner and movie around 12 midnight. Because of the Skype session this morning, I also wasn't able to join RKGreg, MkSurf8 and iandarric on the impromptu nightout last night. :-/
In a recent post, I mentioned that I was thinking of trying out another language teacher aside from Harusan. The teacher I have a session with in 20 minutes is someone based in Nara. I've read the student feedback and it has been generally positive. I hope the session will be a good one.
This coming Tuesday is the last session of the Japanese language class. I decided to keep on going with the course, so I'll be registering for the next 10 sessions. Initially, I thought of switching schools. However, I decided to just stick with my current school. The fee difference between my current school and the other school is $140. Since I'm paying out of my own pocket, my resources are a bit limited. Lol! I'm hoping that the italki sessions would be good enough to supplement the once a week session in school.
I'm not sure what will come out of this language classes. I am planning to go to Japan later this year. At the very least, I hope that the language lessons will enable me to converse casually with the locals when I go for the trip.
Friday, March 27, 2015
Last night, I was supposed to fly to KL for a holiday until Monday. It was supposed to be my first time to visit friend I-van since he moved there.
But then, Monday happened and that made me think twice about going to KL. When I confirmed that I-van won't be around in KL this weekend as he is in Korea for work, I told him that I'll just postpone the trip. One, I really want to be in Singapore this entire week. Two, it doesn't seem to make sense for me to be in KL when the person I intend to visit is not there. Hehe!
When that was settled, the next thing that needed to be arranged was the visit to Parliament House to pay respects to Singapore's first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew. I knew Richie would want to go. Even before, he already said he hopes he would be in Singapore when the great leader passes on. He got his wish.
Today was the only day he can go to Parliament House. The same was true for me. I think Friday night and Saturday would be the time everyone who didn't get to go from Wednesday until Friday morning will try to go. Initially, Richie and I planned to go in the evening, around midnight. Later on, we decided to just go this morning.
I have to say you really have to give it to Singapore when it comes to efficiency and preparedness. The queue was orderly. There was free water, biscuits and flavoured drinks in packets. At the entrance to the Padang, umbrellas were distributed for use. Portalets were located in specific areas. First Aid stations were available. The volunteers even walked around giving cardboards for people to sit on on the grass. One Army officer came over to our group to brief us on the procedure. He explained that huge groups were kept in holding areas so that they won't have to sit, stand, move to next area, sit, stand, move to the next area.
Closer to the Parliament House, condolence cards and pens were readily available for the public to write their messages for LKY and/or his family. Even the style of the pen (black to signify mourning? Or am I reading too much into things?) was thought of!
Everything was so well-planned! Mr. Lee would have been so proud and impressed.
Inside the Parliament House, the mood was very sombre. Richie and I were at the hall where the great leader laid in state for under a minute. We just bowed down. I said a silent prayer and quietly whispered "Thank you, LKY."
On Sunday, I plan to stand along the street along with thousands of other people to wait for the gun carriage carrying his body to pass by. That will be the last time to say thank you and farewell to him.
So many articles have been written extolling the virtues of Mr. Lee Kuan Yew. I also like this article and this article. I won't add another one.
Really, all I want to say is "Thank you" to you and your team for everything that you have done to make Singapore what it is today. It is truly remarkable. You will be remembered by generations to come, Mr. LKY!
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Sunday, March 22, 2015
Equally busy Sunday.
I've been all over the island once again. Haha! First order of the day was a nature walk with Mr. Lim. We headed to Bukit Brown. So much has changed in such a short span of time. We went for a walk for about 2 hours and covered almost 5 kilometres. During the walk, we discovered a new trail along Onraet Road. Some animals we saw were a collared kingfisher, an oriole, a few macaques and a lot of squirrels. Haha!
From Bukit Brown, we drove to the East for lunch and movie in Katong area. We watched The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Good movie! I enjoyed the first one. I enjoyed this one, too. Mr. Lim then dropped me off at Eunos MRT. I headed to One Raffles Quay to shower at the gym. Afterwards, I took bus 75 to catch the 530PM Mass at St. Bernadette.
Last agenda for the day was dinner with Richie at Korat Thai in Orchard Towers. Lol! It's been a long day once again.
Sometimes, or on most occasions, the weekend is more tiring than the entire work week. Lol!
Good weekend it was!
Saturday, March 21, 2015
Started the day with Pump at Westgate. Headed to the National Museum for volunteer shift. Big group again - 4 Americans, 2 Australians, 2 British, 2 Germans, 1 Austrian, 1 Indian. I think I won't be doing any morning shifts from now on. Hehe!
Went to the library again to work on my Japanese assignment. Final agenda for the day was dinner and hohol at Mr. and Mrs. B's place. It's a good thing I didn't have lunch because the couple served Filipino food that had me going for a second serving of rice. Yikes!
Day started at 8AM. Day ended at 11PM.
Friday, March 20, 2015
I thought I'd end the day by writing briefly about my Friday... in Japanese.
こんにちは。アンジェロ です。 げんき です か。きにょうび の よる です。なに を して います か。
きょうは いえ で はたらきました。しごとは あまり いそがしくない です。5じはんに しごと を おわりました。 それから としょかん え いきます。 6じはんから 8じまでに ほん を よみました。
ほんは すき です。よむは すき です。9じごろに としょかんに でました。でんしゃのえきに あるきました。でんしゃで うちに かえります。
きょうは いい です。いま、ねます。おやすみなさい。
I posted this also on italki.com so that Japanese speakers may comment/correct the post. I'll translate the above post, along with any corrections, when someone takes the time to reply to the italki.com post. Haha!
Thursday, March 19, 2015
Wednesday was quite a busy day.
The day started with waking up before the alarm went off, which is usually the case. Haha!
Since I had dinner plans, I thought of going to the gym in the morning. It was perfect because there was a 7AM class. It would be just like pre-telecommuting days when I did Pump before heading to the office.
The gym was almost empty when I arrived. In about 15 minutes though, more people started arriving. I walked over to the counter to ask for the registration sheet for Pump. The nice staff then told me that there was Circuit Training, but no Pump.
Strange because I checked the schedule and I was sure Pump was on schedule. Hmm, I just decided to hit the treadmill and run for 30 minutes. When I was already 20 minutes into my run, I heard the music coming from the Group Exercise room. I was sure it was a Body Pump song. I decided to stop the treadmill and rush to the GX room. True enough, it was a Pump class. Haha!
Thankfully, I'm quite familiar with the song. I've been doing Pump for a few years now so it was quite easy to follow the instructor. It was just a 50-minute class. No biceps and triceps tracks. It was okay because I had enough time to shower and head back in time to start work.
For lunch, I had my second session with Harusensei. The session this week was a lot tougher than the first one. I could understand 80% of the things he said. The challenge was verbalise my thoughts. At one point, the sentences were too complicated. Even Harusan though that the sentences were too long! Lol! Oh, I still need to improve on the use of the particles.
I'm thinking of trying out sessions with another teacher. Harusensei is good. I think he is best for someone who already has been studying Japanese for a year now, maybe a JLPT 5 passer? I like him a lot because he's very patient, very cheerful, and that I am forced to really listen and try to speak in Japanese. But maybe I need a teacher who can properly supplement the lessons I learn in class. Let's stick first to Kono kaban wa dare desu ka? Or Kore wa dare no kaban desu ka? Isshni tabemasenka? Ja owarimashou.
Let's see how it goes.
In the evening, I just went to Holland V for dinner, followed by coffee and dessert at a cafe named Baker & Cook. Late did it occur to me that I actually could have checked out The Monocle Cafe. I've been wanting to go and check it out.
Good start of the day and good end of day.
Monday, March 16, 2015
Since the weekend was packed with activities outside of the house, it was only this morning that I got to do house chores and errands that I needed to do.
I got up at 620AM. There were a few things that I wanted to do. The top two were laundry and grocery. Realising that I still had a lot of time before the nearby Fair Price opens, I decided to dump my dirty clothes in the washing machine first before heading out to do the grocery.
Monday morning is perhaps the best time to do grocery. Everyone, almost everyone, is at work. There are no queues. Going from aisle to aisle is a breeze. I pretty much have the same list or I know the things that I need. So, it doesn't take me a long time to buy stuff. Even if there was no queue at the regular counter, I still prefer to go to the self-service checkout counter. Hehe! I kinda enjoy scanning the items I bought and bagging them myself.
From the grocery, I headed back. With enough time still, I cooked breakfast. Then, I went to my room and changed the sheets. Afterwards, I turned on my laptop and logged on to the work network. There was still a lot of time before the work day started. That allowed me to go back to the wash area to take care of my laundry. Hehe!
One good thing about telecommuting - one can do his house work before the office work. Haha!
The day went by. There isn't much happening with work, which is good.
By 6, I left the house and went to the Choa Chu Kang Library. I spent a good two hours just working on my Japanese language assignments and studying for the class tomorrow. Two hours is not enough. :-( The last stop for today before heading back is the gym. To be honest, I was tempted to skip the gym because I was rather sleepy. Thankfully, I reminded myself of all the sinful stuff I ate at the picnic. That was more than enough to get me to drag myself to the gym.
Now, I'm just resting a bit before calling it a night. It was a rather long Monday. Week started good though. :)
Thank you, Lord.
Sunday, March 15, 2015
Similar to yesterday, today was a rather long day. Haha!
The difference, the significant difference, is that today didn’t require as much brain work as yesterday. Hehe! :P
I still woke up at 530 which was way before my alarm (which was 645!). Haha! I stayed in bed for about an hour. The reason for that was a Korean friend whom I met more than a decade ago finally found the time to check his Facebook account and accepted my friend request. We ended up chatting on FB for an hour or so. Hehe!
The convo had to be cut short though as I needed to prep to go to church. Today, I went to the Blessed Sacrament Church at Commonwealth Drive. It was a rather nice church. The service was quite good.
Following Mass, I grabbed a quick bite at a nearby kopitiam before making the journey to the East.
If my activities yesterday were all centred around the city, today’s activities were all in the East.
First stop was Aljunied. I realised I have time to kill so I brought my Japanese school materials and did some homework and reading at the Geylang East library. It’s my first time at this library and I really like it. In particular, I liked the Quiet Reading Room. It was quite spacious and more importantly, it really was quiet. Hehe! I only had a little over an hour to kill. Uhm, I only managed to finish one assignment and do a quick memorisation exercise of verbs and adjectives. Hehe!
Close to 1PM, I took the train to Paya Lebar where I met up with PG Boy, his best friend and Mon for lunch. I suggested we try the Peranakan place at the new building at Paya Lebar. Seeing the building made me realise how long I’ve never been to the eastern side of the island. Haha!
The lunch was pretty okay. We had the bueh keluak, rendang, otah otah, ngoh hiang, chap chye, cendol, and bobochacha. The food was pretty decent. Hmm, I still prefer Ivin’s and the Peranakan place over at Joo Chiat.
Last on my agenda today was a post-birthday picnic for Mr. Lim. He suggested a picnic and our friend Des suggested to have it at Pasir Ris park. I will admit it. I thought it was very far and it is very far. However, I knew Mr. Lim would drive. Add to that the fact that the gathering was for his birthday and that I haven’t seen Des and Justin for quite some time. I invited Miru to come along with us and I’m glad that he was free to join us.
Mr. Lim picked up me and Miru at Lorong Chuan and drove to planet Pasir Ris from there. It only took us about 20 minutes or so to reach the place. While parking, Des and Justin already arrived since they live nearby.
It was a nice picnic. Des and Justin prepped chicken wings. Miru and I brought egg tarts, mini-pies, chips, and cupcakes. Mr. Lim brought a nice drink and some desserts.
The place was so relaxing because it was right by the sea and the park was not crowded at all. We found our spot and just sat there for a good two hours to eat, chitchat, and people watch.
I reached home two hours ago and have just been relaxing. Hehe! Thankfully, I can wake up around 7 tomorrow and still be on time for work. Yay!
Thank you, Lordy, for a wonderful weekend!