I’ve finally finished my FY2016 closing, did all the reconciliations etc… and now I finally have some free time!
I’ll probably be writing up the Japan trip journal soon (gonna take some time!), but generally the trip was cold (colder than I expected!) yet relaxing. Don’t really wanna hide anything so yeah, the person who went with me on the trip was Bruno. Nope, we are not together (you wouldn’t believe how many have been asking this). We are not sleeping together either. Okay, literally speaking, we are, considering we do share a bed now and then at staycations or holiday, but we don’t touch each other. (Believe it or not, it’s up to you. Those who know me very well will know that it’s perfectly possible.) We are really very good friends, that’s all, and we respect our friendship. After the failed r/s with Bear, I kinda realised that being very good friends don’t mean it should naturally develop into something romantic. In fact, it can kill off the friendship if the romanticism turns sour, like what happened between Bear and I. So I didn’t want that to happen between Bruno and I, hence our friendship is going to remain as it is now. He isn’t interested in a relationship either, because he felt he couldn’t contribute much to it. He is, after all, just an artist and artist positions are being exploited badly here. His salary is really rather low, and he felt it’s unfair for the girl if he couldn’t provide much for her.
Anyway, going overseas with a person makes you see the person clearer. And it also makes you see yourself clearer. In my past overseas trips, I always find myself lashing out at my travel partner – regardless who they are. I’ve always thought it’s really just my temper – and it’s better for me to travel alone. For this Japan trip, I also nearly lashed out at him once, but it didn’t develop into a full scale eruption / argument. Turns out that he knew what made me frustrated – I was too stressed about getting to a particular place within a stipulated time. I started snapping at him while I was trying to make a decision (but too flustered to make one). I threw all sorts of possibilities at him to let him know that those were my concerns, and he ended up making the decision for us. That kinda calmed me down a little, because like, FINALLY, someone is taking responsibility of making decisions, and not just relying on me. He knows I can make decisions. and he also knows that I’d like him to share some of that responsibilities too. So even though he’s not a very vocal person, he will make those decisions if I purposely throw it out to him. That’s kinda nice, you know?
I was supposed to be going to Finland, but that will have to be shelved for quite a bit because we have plans for other places. I’m still saving up bit by bit for that Finland trip though! I would love to bring Bruno to Finland too, I think he will love it there as well. And hopefully to introduce him to Reko, and let these two artists talk their hearts out. Both are passionate when it comes to what they are doing… to the point of sticking to it even though it’s not working out as nicely as they wanted it to be in life. Maybe these two can work together in some projects or something… I don’t know. One can hope! :D
I missed Finland quite a bit… and I missed Reko, his mom and his sister quite a fair bit too. Why is it always so expensive to travel to Europe? =(
Geee I am so busy lately until i haven’t been updating my blog much. I haven’t even did ANY write up at all for the Japan trip. Oh geez I really need to sit down and put everything aside to write that trip journal down at some point.
But for now, I’ll need to get back to my work first. Dang why is this year so busy! =(
Right! So I haven’t really been doing much lately, to be honest. Just playing WoW (thanks to the WoW anniversary XP buff that’s gonna end tomorrow) whenever I’m free, and listening to radio dota in the meantime.
I’ve finally spent the $200 Fraser Mall Giftcard that my insurance company gave me last year, and I used it to buy Fitbit Alta. It’s actually quite interesting, and it kinda really motivates me to walk more in order to reach the goal / milestones. I even wore it to sleep because it’s pretty interesting the way it tracks my sleep. It tells me how long did I sleep for, how many times did I actually wake up during the period (and I didn’t even know about it) and how many times I was restless throughout the sleep. The bands on the Alta are interchangeable too, so I’ve bought a few more colours off from Taobao. God knows when they will arrive, but I guess I’m not in a hurry to get them.
So yup, I’m now a proud owner of a fitness tracker! Can strike that Charge 2 off my wishlist already, lol.
Two more weeks to Japan trip! Suddenly the trip seems so near… Not exactly sure if that’s a good thing. =/
Celebrated my own birthday by booking a club room at Village Hotel Albert Court, thanks to a promotion they have for their existing members. I have stayed at their sister hotel at Village Hotel Katong before, and honestly I prefer Village Hotel Katong a little more, as it’s refurbished and renovated. Village Hotel Albert Court is a little… hmm, dated.
The Club Room that they’ve upgraded for free for me due to it being a birthday stay, but then again we didn’t really make use of the club facilities, lol. Bruno was kind enough to keep me company (I would have gone alone otherwise) for the three days, hence the king bed. It’s wide enough for the two of us with plenty of space in between. He hates body heat, so space is necessary on the bed lol. Here’s some photo spam.
Yes, it’s an extremely huge room. But if you look closely at the TV cabinet, you’d see the corners have already been chipped off. I’m not that fussy, so I didn’t complain about it. The toilet light was flickering throughout our stay too, but it didn’t give us any trouble, so we just leave it as well. One issue I had with the room is that there’s no additional power outlet anywhere near the TV. Hence, there was no way I was able to charge my laptop while leaving it connected to the TV. Yes it’s extremely important… because I used it to watch dota matches on TV. =(
This hotel has the same issue as the Katong branch – and that’s the blanket is way too warm. Synthetic feathers are bad, sigh. But other than that, the bed is fine, towels are fluffy and white, and their water kettle has to be one of the cleanest and newest I’ve seen in a hotel, really.
We watched a movie on his USB stick – Alice Through The Looking Glass, before getting a late dinner on the first night at Swee Choon, a place where he never went to before. We ordered a couple of dim sum, and were generally pretty satisfied with the food. Then we went back to the hotel and watched more dota.
Sunday was truly a relaxing day. We did literally… nothing. Except watching dota and movie (caught up on The Mechanic Resurrection after dinner). We didn’t even walk too far for dinner, before going back for more dota matches. But because our sleep quality was pretty bad (thanks to the blanket) the night before, we went to bed earlier than expected and tried to catch some wink.
It’s an uneventful day today when we checked out, except for the fact that it was pouring cats and dogs when we left the hotel. We ended up really wet all around even though we shared an umbrella. The rain was just too big. And after I got home and was done washing my clothes, I’m just sitting here and trying hard not to doze off during the day. Don’t really wanna screw up my sleeping timing….
Didn’t really have the time to write for the last few days, so maybe this will be a long post. We’ll see.
On last Saturday 22/10/16, Bruno and I went for the Escher’s Journey Into Infinity exhibit at Artscience Museum. Photography is allowed, but I didn’t take much photos. We were there to marvel at his works, not to take photos lol. I only took one photo – which was aptly named as the exhibit itself.
So after spending two hrs and a half inside there, we went for a short coffee break at Commune, before we went for our Restaurant Week dinner. One nice thing about Bruno is that he can always commit a date (I mean, date, not dating kind of date) for such activities. So it makes it a lot easier for me to make the bookings when the reservations are open. This time, we tried Wooloomooloo Restaurant, with me making the booking despite no menu being provided initially. I mean, what can go wrong, right? It’s a steakhouse!
So we went there at 8.15pm, 15 minutes earlier than the expected time of arrival, and their service was astounding. The lady did not keep us standing for 15 minutes. Instead, she ushered us into their bar, and asked us to make ourselves comfortable while we wait for the tables to be free. By 8.30pm sharp, we were being ushered to our table. It was a 5 course dinner (wow), at the special Restaurant Week price of $58++ (double wow!). You can never find such a price in their regular menu. And the best part is they didn’t skimp on their serving size!
Our first dish was actually their complimentary onion bread. It was still warm when it was being served to us, and although the sauteed onion at the top was a tad too salty on its own, it complemented the warm plain bread very well. It was so good that we finished the entire bread off.
Next up was the first dish on the menu. The item reads “Shooter of Forrest Mushroom Soup | Parmesan Cheese | Truffle Oil”. I was still wondering what the hell does it mean by “shooter”, and I nearly laughed out loud when it was being served. It was mushroom soup served in a vodka shot glass! LOL that was so unexpected. I drank it and wow, the truffle taste exploded in my mouth. The mushroom soup itself was very thick, and chock-full of mushroom bits. Mmmm-nice!
Next was their duck confit salad. I have to confess that 1) I can’t eat duck, and 2) I hate salad. Like literally hate, with every fibre of my being. But when the salad was being served, and after gingerly putting one spoonful of salad into my mouth, I eagerly polished the whole plate off. It was so good! The vegetables were fresh, and came in manageable bite-sized portions (no huge lettuce that you have to stuff into your mouth), and with the pulled duck meat, walnuts, beetroot and cheese, every flavour just came together so nicely, yet at the same time you can taste each of them individually in one mouthful as well. It was honestly amazing. The best salad that I’ve ever eaten, really. I swear to god, if I ever go to Wooloomooloo again and they have that dish, I will order it. Yes, I will voluntarily order a salad in a restaurant! It’s that good.
The next dish on the menu is sauteed garlic prawn. I wasn’t blown away by this dish. The toasted garlic was okay-ish, the lobster cream was pretty good, and the prawn was absolutely perfectly grilled – slightly crisp on the outside but succulent and sweet on the inside. Very nice, yes, but not out of the world. Bruno absolutely loved this dish though.
Main courses were then served. We had a choice between Grain Fed Australian Ribeye, Pan Seared Barramundi, or Tagliatelle Salsiccia. Our choice was obvious. We were at a steak house. What else do you order other than steak, right? XD So yup, both of us ordered the ribeye. The guy who served us the main courses had a little mixed up – he gave me Bruno’s medium-rare ribeye, and gave him my medium ribeye. We both sensed something amiss while slicing the steak, so we just switched it between ourselves. No big deal. But the kitchen staff saw it, and alerted the guy, and he came over to apologise profusely for the mixed up. We had to reassure him firmly that it’s absolutely fine, and the food was absolutely perfect too, please don’t worry about it. It was very nice though, to have him apologise for the mistake (but not that we minded, seriously).
It was certainly not the -best- steak that I’ve eaten, but it’s definitely ranked up there among one of the best. I asked for medium, and the doneness was perfect. The sauteed mushrooms on top and the Lyonnaise potatoes added a slight tinge of other flavour at the same time. And the serving size was perfect. We were feeling full after the steak – and that’s with the complimentary bread!
Desserts then came along promptly after we cleaned off our steak plate. I picked the Wooloomooloo cheesecake with yogurt gelato, while Bruno got himself the Wooloomooloo Brownie with vanilla ice cream. My cheesecake tasted heavenly actually – slightly salted cheese mousse, and a delicious crumbly biscuit base. I couldn’t take yogurt though, and the raspberry coullis was a tad too sour for me as well. Nice dish as it was, but I couldn’t finish it. Bruno couldn’t really finished off his either, coz his brownie was too sweet and too dense. But he did mentioned that it will definitely be an amazing dish for those with sweet tooth.
So that concluded our Saturday. An interesting art exhibit, an amazing dinner, and a lovely companion. Life’s good. :D
Oh, and Bruno finally finished my Facebook cover photo! Initially I only asked if I could use his original artwork (a swiss roll cottage!) for my Facebook cover, because I fell in love with it the first time I saw it in his portfolio reel. I said I would pay for it (with dinners!), and he said okay, but he’ll have to polish it and resize it to Facebook resolution. And that took him almost 10 months to do because he was so lazy! :x Okay he’s not lazy, just that he had other priorities. But yeah he finally got it done, and on top of that he tweaked a little and added my favourite comic strip characters! He also changed my display pic so that it all fits into the banner.
How cute is this?!??!?! Omg I’m grinning face to face everytime I see it. The swiss roll cottage looks soooo delectable, and then there were mushrooms! And there’s all my favourite Capoo characters… awwww….. *heart melted* <3
And today is Bruno and I’s friend-niversary! Yupyup, we met up with each other exactly one year ago on this day. I’m meeting him later for dinner, at the same place we first met too! Huehue, maybe I should just make it like a tradition. XD Hopefully we have more friend-niversaries to come!
Spent last Saturday with Bruno, as usual. I went over to his place and we caught a bus together to Sembawang Hill Food Centre. Unfortunately the kway chup stall had closed for the day, so he settled for laksa while I settled for an unassuming mixed veggie rice stall, which turned out to be quite delicious.
Then we took another bus to Thomson where he grabbed his Bakery coffee, and we kinda just walked around Thomson Plaza a little (for the aircon) before heading to Bishan to catch the movie Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children. I have to say, this is almost the first time I’ve watched “typical” Tim Burton movie. The only other Tim Burton directed movie that I’ve watched was Planet of the Apes, which wasn’t quite “Tim Burton-ish”. I resisted the urge to google for the movie plot and ending before the show, so this is the first time (in many years) that I went into the cinema with zero idea what I’m gonna watch. And I have to say, the movie was quite nice! Nice enough for me to rate it a 4.1 at least, out of 5. Although it’s kinda like a “kid’s movie”, I still quite enjoyed it. It was a little annoying to keep hearing someone snoring in the cinema though… there’s a Dad sitting next to Bruno who snored halfway through the movie. -_-
After that we went to Canopy Garden Dining, where we had a dinner reservation. We ordered a sausage platter to share, and he got himself crabmeat aglio olio while I had a mushroom burger with fries. The mushroom burger looked plain, but it was still rather good. The fries had a right crisp to it, but unfortunately it was a tad too salty for me. Bruno loved it though. After that we walked a bit around Bishan Park, where Canopy Garden dining was located at. But it was really dark at some parts of the park, and we kinda “interrupted” a few couples who were lying at the reclining chairs there doing… you-know-what. It was kinda embarrassing yet hilarious.
We were supposed to go to Gamestart Asia 2016 yesterday, but we both kinda fell slightly sick on Saturday evening when we were on our way home. He was feeling slightly feverish, while I was feeling the onset of cold (was sneezing and having running nose). So we decided to call it off and just rest at home, despite the tickets already bought. We caught most of the StreetFighter V SEA Major action (that was happening live at Gamestart) on stream, so it wasn’t that big a loss to not attend the convention.
Aaaaannd, it’s another new week. This is getting so tiring. Wish I can have a break…. though the next vacation is like two months away. That still seems horribly far though…
Haha, so I bought another pair of shoes last Saturday. I mean, really, that North Face outdoor shoes is really giving my heels some problem. I really have to wait till my heel cushions are shipped in before I can wear them again. Bought a new pair of running shoes at Decathlon with a surprisingly springy heel cushion – and it’s an unheard brand Kalenji. After Googling a little, I found out that it was Decathlon’s own brand. Most of their models are relatively cheaper than Nike/Reebok and the likes, but this particular pair of shoes is slightly over a hundred, so it’s actually not that cheap anyway. But it’s really quite comfortable, and both Bruno and I bought the same pair – same colour too. I laughingly told him he can never wear this pair of shoes to my home if my parents are at home, or else they’ll gonna get the wrong idea. I’ll take a picture of the shoes this Friday… if I remember.
My mom’s now in Japan enjoying her atas travel with my cousins. I’ll have to be waking up earlier for this whole week to prepare and tidy the house, do the necessary stuff like boiling water so that my dad has drinking water, wiping down table tops etc… after work, I have to go home to sweep the floor and wash clothes.. hmmm. I’m not exactly complaining though. It’s something that I’ll have to do for myself when I get my own little apartment anyway.
Went to JTB last Thursday to book for the Tokyo accommodation, so that we can ask them to help us buy the Ghibli Museum tickets. But you know what? They are marking up the accommodation prices by almost 50%. Like, erm, really? A room for 3 nights – I can get from Japanican.com at SGD800+, but they are charging me SGD1,400+. Like, wow. Literally wow. We decided to not go for it, and give up on the hope of going to Ghibli Museum (this time, we’ll get there eventually!). So I’ve booked the hotel on Japanican.com and now, waiting for certain dates to tie up the loose ends.
Things left to do:
Remind Kyoto hotel to assist with application of visit permit to Kokedera
Confirming Shirakawa-go accommodation with the ryokan on 1st October
Book Nomi Bus for the Shirakawa-Go trip
Change enough YEN for the trip
Double confirming the train timings so that we can purchase all the train tickets in advance at Narita Airport
Hope everything will go smoothly as planned. *crosses fingers*
After the conclusion of The International 6, Dota 2 community is kinda in a lull right now. Teams have been disbanded and rosters are in a disarray now. There’s so many rumours going on that I’m kinda immune to all. Now we are just waiting for official team line up announcements.
In the meantime, I’m just playing World of Warcraft’s latest expansion: Legion. I’m levelling as a Discipline priest, which is surprisingly doable. Yeah, granted I can’t heal much, it’s about just enough for solo play. Most of the time I hardly need to heal myself. At scenarios against level ?? bosses, the NPCs will help to heal me. Whenever my HP goes to half, I’ll get healed and I just need to spend my mana on offensive spells. And being a disc priest, there’s literally only 3 buttons to press for offensive spells: Smite, Purge the Wicked, and Penance. That’s all, really. It should be boring, but it isn’t really. I played WoW for the whole day yesterday, and I didn’t really get any fatigue. I find it refreshing that now, quest rewards can randomly be upgraded. A green reward item can randomly become a blue, or a blue item could get randomly upgraded to legendary when it dropped into your bag.
Gathering professions in WoW have also been improved. Nodes are shared (you don’t need to rush to get that herb and worry that it’ll be gone after someone got to it before you), and you can get random profession-related item on top of whatever you are gathering. Take fishing, for example, I can get random fish which I could throw back to the water to get permanent 5 levels to my fishing skill. Or I could get baits that could help me fish up even more unique fishes. I’ve always quite like fishing, so I foresee I’ll be fishing pretty often in Legion. Heh.
Jewel Coffee opened up a branch at Millenia Walk! Yay! Walking distance from my office to a good cuppa. Starbucks is actually rubbish, now that more and more decent coffee connoisseur chains popped up. I think I might just stop drinking Starbucks once I’ve redeemed all the free drinks.
I’m going for Frozen Planet in concert this Thursday! I’ve been waiting for it for two years. I’ve managed to procure 2 tickets and I’m gonna drag Bruno to go with me lol. I think he’ll be napping halfway through though… :x
I’ve pledged for 2 Bobby backpacks via Kickstarter, and have received them! I think I -might- bring it for the Japan trip – but we’ll see how it goes.
Sigh, now with the haze and dengue issue, we now have to worry about Zika. And my block is just right outside the Zika cluster border at Bedok North Ave 3. Insect repellents have sold out everywhere, but I’ve managed to order some online via Giant website, so hopefully I’ll be getting some OFF! insect repellent lotion later. I’ve also bought an essential oil burner for my mom as she wants one in the living room, and the seller has offered it together with a free essential oil, so I chose Lemongrass (naturally) to repel the insects. Not sure when I’ll be getting that… hopefully soon!
I’ve been repeating this song on youtube/iTunes for quite a bit. The lyrics are so sad… it tugs my heart strings everytime he sang “你退半步的动作认真的吗? 小小的动作伤害还那么大”. T_T