One More Week!

To my Japan trip!

OMG suddenly it seems to be coming fast.

Will we be able to catch the trains?  Will we have trouble navigating around on our own? Geeeeeez, so many burning questions, but only can be answered when we are there.

Hope everything will be fine!

Updates.. and then some

Japan Trip

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*

Gaming

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.

Misc

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

绅士
作词:薛之谦
作曲:薛之谦
编曲:郑伟、张宝宇

好久没见了什么角色呢
细心装扮着
白色衬衫的袖扣是你送的
尽量表现着像不在意的
频繁暴露了自欺欺人者
越掩饰越深刻
你说我说听说
忍着言不由衷的段落
我反正决定自己难过
我想摸你的头发
只是简单的试探啊
我想给你个拥抱
像以前一样可以吗
你退半步的动作认真的吗
小小的动作伤害还那么大
我只能扮演个绅士
才能和你说说话
我能送你回家吗
可能外面要下雨啦
我能给你个拥抱
像朋友一样可以吗
我忍不住从背后抱了一下
尺度掌握在不能说想你啊
你就当刚认识的绅士
闹了个笑话吧
尽量表现着善解人意的
频繁暴露了不欲人知的
越掩饰越深刻
想说听说别说
忍着言不由衷的段落
我反正注定留在角落
我想摸你的头发
只是简单的试探啊
我想给你个拥抱
像以前一样可以吗
你退半步的动作认真的吗
小小的动作伤害还那么大
我只能扮演个绅士
才能和你说说话
我能送你回家吗
可能外面要下雨啦
我能给你个拥抱
像朋友一样可以吗
我忍不住从背后抱了一下
尺度掌握在不能说想你啊
你就当刚认识的绅士
闹了个笑话吧
你能给我只左手
牵你到马路那头吗
我会像以前一样
看着来往的车子啊
我们的距离在眉间皱了下
迅速还原成路人的样子啊
越有礼貌我越害怕
绅士要放得下

Waiting…

5 more months to the Japan trip.

Can’t say I’m super excited at the moment, but can’t say I don’t look forward to it either.

I’ve booked the various hotel accommodations, booked the portable pocket wifi rental, and now we are just waiting for the tickets to be released for Ghibli Museum and Kokedera.

The accommodations that I picked this time are all ranked top in TripAdvisor, but I guess the prices are still pretty decent.  The Shinjuku hotel is ranked top (under Shibuya in TA for some reason), the Shirakawa-go gassho-style hut is also ranked top in TA, and the Kyoto boutique hotel is ranked second.

Hurhurhur.  Baibai moolah.

The Tokyo itinerary is somewhat settled, but the Kyoto itinerary is still wide open.  I still don’t have much idea where to go specifically or what to do… guess we’ll just see where our legs bring us, lol.

Waiting, waiting, waiting….

5 months seem like a long wait.  =(

Back in Singapore!

So after a few days in the ultra hot and humit Manila, we’re back!

So first impression of Manila:-

1) The airport is chaotic.  Especially at the arrival/pick up area.  It’s so horribly chaotic that I’m super glad I’ve booked a private airport transfer in advance.  Yes, it’s a lot more expensive than calling uber or hailing a cab, but considering it’s my first time there, I don’t mind spending the money to ensure a safe and no-hassle transfer from airport to my hotel.

2) It’s freaking bright at 6am in the morning.  Like what?  The sun is shining so brightly at 6.30am that I thought it’s 10.30am there.  O.o

3) The traffic is insane; the roads conditions are worse, and I really can’t imagine the amount of dust/dirt that flies around on the roads.  If you think Malaysia or Bangkok is bad, wait till you go to Manila.

Well the hotel we stayed in was relatively new, but there are quite a lot of problems with it.  Some severe, some not so.

But generally in Philippines, the food is tasty (their beef stew is absolutely delectable) and cheap.  Even their Starbucks is cheaper than here in Singapore.  But enough of that.

This is why I went to Manila:-

The Manila Major 2016.

We got the inner ring tickets for Saturday, so yup, that’s how near we were to the stage and screen.  We went in a little late, as we had to go exchange Bruno’s Uniqlo jacket as he felt it’s too flimsy and he wanted a slightly thicker one.  Hence we weren’t able to snag good seats in the arena, but you know what, I have no complaints.  The hype from the crowd was incredible, the production was awesome, heck even the food sold in the arena was super tasty (I just love their hotdog sandwiches!). Bottled water is also super cheap, considering you can’t bring outside food and drinks.  The food booths could easily jack up their prices since spectators have no other food and beverage choices, but nope all the prices are still very very cheap.  You certainly won’t get this kind of prices in Singapore.

Let’s see.  At the venue, a hotdog sandwich cost only PHP110 (~$3.20).  If you order a combo (hotdog with large drink), it’s only PHP155 (~S$4.50). Bottled water cost PHP25 (~S$0.70).  Heck, that’s even cheaper than some of the mineral water brands here in Singapore supermarkets. And you don’t get cold, pre-packaged food.  You get hot, made-on-the-spot food.  It’s just so amazing that you can get such tasty food at such cheap price.  And best part?  Queues are always relentlessly long, but no one ever tried to cut the queue. No one at all.  The queue can snake forever, but everyone will be queuing up orderly.  I was so impressed!

In a way, I wished we were there earlier for a few more days of the Manila Major leading up to the finals and grand finals.  It was really awesome to sit in the arena and watch the games being played right in front of you.  But on the other hand, I was glad to go home because the heat and scorching sun was almost unbearable.  If you think Singapore weather is bad, Manila’s weather is 10x worse.

But that’s that, and I’m glad I had the chance to experience professional dota teams playing right in front of me.  I’m sad that Team Liquid lost to OG in the grand final, but I’m still glad to have experience the hype, the passion and the cheers from everyone in the arena for the last two days.  Beautipul doto, indeed.  XD (Sorry, can’t resist.)

That said, I’ll update my travel blog in a while, with more pictures of everything. That said, it’s still considerably less photos than my other trips.  Not sure why… maybe because I don’t like to keep waving my phone around in Manila.  Hurhur.

3 More Days

3 more days to Manila Major! To my trip to Manila Major, that is.

Manila Major group stages had already ended last Friday and Saturday.  And tomorrow will be the Main Event Day 1! From the leaked photos of the arena, I think the event is going to be really awesome!  Feeling a little hyped now.  :D I’m really hoping Liquid will be able to win this one too.  C’mon Liquid! ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ Take my energy ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ !

On other note, I’m broke.  I just bought a new laptop because my trusty Alienware M11x brick had finally gave up on me during my Hong Kong trip four months back.  And then there’s the Tokyo trip coming up at the end of the year.  Geez I have to postpone the Finland trip next year for sure.  Going to Europe just cost so much, omg.

And on top of that, I need to upgrade my rig soon…. got a feeling the motherboard is gonna die pretty soon.  It kept loading the wrong profile for a few months already… and I had to keep restarting Windows to get to the right profile.  I couldn’t even choose from the profile selection… -_-

Meh, Dota 2 withdrawal now.  Why can’t tomorrow comes quicker?  Heck, why can’t Thursday just be here already?!

Too Tired

Gosh.

I’m just so tired lately.

TCM doc forbade me to drink coffee, but I told her I can’t.  I’d get headaches if I don’t.  Then she gave me this cordyceps powder, which I tried yesterday. Yup, I took it at 11am, and it instantly kinda woke me up and the effects lasted till around 6+pm.  After that it’s just a downwards spiral when the effects ran out.  I was practically a dead zombie at around 8+pm, and I almost wanted to hit the bed at 9pm.  But my hair wasn’t dry yet, so I forced myself to stay up till 10pm, then I couldn’t take it anymore and went to sleep.

So a full 8 hours sleep, yet I still didn’t wake up feeling refreshed.  Geez.

Today I tried the powder again… lesser quantity this time.  Felt a little bit of effect right after I take it, but I started yawning at around 3pm.  In the end, I went for another cup of coffee at 4pm.., Is this coffee addiction or what?!  Argh.  I’m so gonna get scolded again by the doc this Saturday.

On the side note, Manila Major’s coming but somehow I’m not feeling the hype anymore.  I mean, sure I’m looking forward to the trip, but somehow I’m not super excited about the Major.  I wonder why…  maybe I’ll get a little more hyped next week when it really starts.

Or maybe it’s just the Dota withdrawal.  There hasn’t been any proper dota matches to watch these few days as most of the major tier 1 teams were flying / in transit to Manila for the major.  I’ve checked the schedule and it seems like there should be some matches going on tonight, albeit between non-tier 1 teams.  But I guess something is better than nothing!

Ugh, dota 2 and coffee addiction.  Which is worse?!

Wait what?

So where do I start?

Plenty of stuff happened… yet it feels like nothing much happened.

Hong Kong trip’s over, and although there’s some really bad incidents that happened during the trip, I’m really way too tired to recount those incidents here.  At least the trip ended well, though my mom started nagging the moment we stepped back into our house.  Sigh… so much for a “happy” ending.  I hadn’t bothered to do any write ups, upload any photos, and geez I didn’t even bother to do reviews on Tripadvisor.  Darn.  What’s with this laziness….

Bruno recently taught me some basics of DOTA 2 (did I mention that he was a semi-competitive pro DOTA 2 player?), and we had fun watching the just-concluded Shanghai Major.  We met like 3 times consecutively after work to catch the games together on his tablet, mostly at Suntec because there’s free Wifi to take advantage of.  Streaming of video just eats so much data, omg.  Although the event was a huge mess, there’s some really awesome dota games that went on.  And even though I’m still newb at everything, at least now I roughly know what exactly the game is about, what objectives are the teams trying to achieve and what they are trying to do in the game.  DOTA is definitely not a game that I will play as it requires too much strategy and skills (yes I’ll admit that I suck when it comes to using brains in a game, and I have zero gaming skills), but it was much fun watching the games.  Just like I’ve never played StreetFighter, but I love watching those tourneys too.  And Bruno was very patient in teaching me certain game play terms, some rules here and there, some character abilities, etc.  And it helped a little, I guess, that I’m familiar with Warcraft races and skills. But I have to give credit where it’s due – Bruno’s a good teacher.  Thank you!  :D

Oh, and I was somehow swooning at two guys from Team Liquid, who happen to be Finns.  :3 Hey I didn’t know they are Finns until I googled about them… Too bad they have girlfriends already, haha!  =X

The next Major will be held in Philippines, and Bruno and I have this crazy idea to fly there just to catch the games.  LOL!  I mean, it’s quite rare to have a Major held so close to Singapore, so I guess Manila is probably the closest it can get for us.  But yeah I guess we’ll see if we can grab the event tickets this Saturday first.

And no, in case any of you reading this is wondering, no no no Bruno and I are not together.  Nor will we be together.  He isn’t looking for a relationship (he values his freedom too much) and it’s really purely just friendship between us.  Okay, maybe slightly more than friends, since we know each other’s innermost secrets, but that’s where the line is and we both have no interest in crossing that line. Yes we enjoy each other’s company, but no, we really are not that compatible.

On to work~  Work has been dull.. it’s just a mad rush every first two weeks, and then slack for two weeks, and then mad rush again.  I don’t know how long can I continue to do this… sigh.  But what else can I do anyway?  Meh.

Hadn’t been playing any PC games lately.  Was so addicted to Crusaders Quest for the past couple of months, and now that I’m gonna quit that game (I just haven’t uninstall it), I’m suddenly at a loss what to do.  Yeah I have some games in Steam that I haven’t touch (Bastion is one… it’s just sitting there in my Steam library), some games that I wanna replay (oh Neverwinter Nights, how much I’ve missed you), some old games that I’ve just bought (hi, Arcanum~), and some games that I’m waiting for DRM-free version before I buy (oh yes, I’m looking at you, Grim Dawn).  So, we’ll see just what I’ll play this weekend. Hurhur.

 

 

Small update!

Two more days to Hong Kong trip with parents! And I haven’t even start packing my luggage yet, damn.

Having my dinner at Percolate now, chilling to the relaxed atmosphere while watching the rain pouring outside… It’s kinda therapeutic, to be honest.

Haven’t been updating this blog for awhile… But then again there’s nothing much to write about anyway. Nowadays I’m just meeting up with Bruno every now and then, for dinner after work, and on some Saturdays. It’s always nice hanging out with him – no pressure, no expectations, no nothing. Just two relaxed souls, with not much problems going anywhere and everywhere. We kinda share the same preference for food too (except that he loves lamb and I don’t), we hate hot weather, we love to walk (though he needs to rest pretty often), and we have somewhat similar interests. We talked about everything and anything… There’s really no taboo topics between us. Lol.

I just helped him celebrated his birthday yesterday. We finally tried the salted egg lava croissant at Antoinette, and after that I brought him to S.E.A. Aquarium at RWS. We both hadn’t been there before, so we kinda enjoyed ourselves there. But we both got so exhausted at the end of the day lol. Though I guess that’s a good thing? :3 I’m not the best person to hang out with, but I hope he truly did enjoy himself! :P

I’m just hoping this relatively new friendship will last for a long long time to come, no matter what may happen in between. :)

Haze, and Other Stuff

So, it’s been a few months of haze, thanks to Indonesia.

Although it’s also thanks to them, that I’ve learnt a lot more about protecting myself (and my family, of course).  I’ve learnt how to actually order custom-made HEPA filters from Taobao; I’ve bought laser particle meter to read the air quality of where I am, I’ve bought  purifier units for my Dad’s and Mom’s rooms, and of course, stocked up more Uvex 3210 masks at home for everyone.  It’s definitely heavier on my wallet (it’s pretty tight now actually), but as long as everyone stays healthy, I’m fine with it.

The next piece of news might come as a surprise to many, but definitely not to the two parties who are involved.  And that’s Bear and I have gone back to being just friends / buddies. I was the one who made the decision, but both of us do agree that our tempers just clashed way too much.  There are also other reasons, but I don’t feel like typing them all out right now (not really in the mood to do so currently).  At some point, maybe.  So stay tuned to this page if you are nosey enough lol.

And so, as of now, I’m back to being single.  Yay!  Honestly speaking, I certainly much prefer singlehood.  Bear and I are still buddies, we still enjoy each other’s company pretty much, we will still be going overseas together (if we can find one that fits our schedule), but we are no longer “romantically attached” to each other.

So now, I’m just busy planning out my trips.  First off, there’s the February trip to HK with my parents.  Then there’s the December trip to Taipei with Bear.  Then there’s the December 2017 trip to Helsinki alone.

Yup, I’m finally travelling alone, and how apt it is for my first solo travel country to be Helsinki, Finland. Like I said previously, it’s going to be a closure trip for me. That hasn’t changed.  I just hope I am able to meet Hanna (Reko’s sis) at some point during my stay in Helsinki!  I’m still deciding between staying for 5-6 days just in Helsinki, or should I stay just 3-4 days there and take a flight to Stockholm to explore the capital of Sweden before I come back to Singapore.  Initially I thought there isn’t much to do in Helsinki, but after googling a bit for the various cafes there, suddenly there seems to be many cafes that I want to visit, and I certainly can’t do them all within 2-3 days since I don’t cafe-hop (I can’t drink that much coffee in a day!). Well it’s still a long way to go, so plenty of time for me to decide.  :)