Saturday, August 30, 2014

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

video

"The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge went viral on social media starting July 2014, an activity that involves pouring the bucket of ice water on the head to promote awareness of the Amyothropic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or also commonly called Lou Gehrig's disease, a progressive neuro generative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.

The challenge dares the nominated participants to be filmed having a bucket of ice water poured on their heads and then nominating others to do the same. It has to be done within 24 hours or otherwise forfeited by a way of a charitable financial donation." (Source: Wikipedia.org)

I first knew about it when my bestie, Felix, was asking me who I would nominate for the ice bucket challenge some time ago. I was blurred, didn't understand what he meant. Then he mentioned about ALS that he thought I was suffering from it. Haha...

So, when I was nominated the ALS Bucket Challenge by my nephew from Hong Kong, the first person who appeared on my mind to nominate was Felix. Haha... Not because I was angry, no no, no such thing at all. I nominated him because I know he is the most supportive person who will accept the challenge without thinking much. Am I right Lix? ;)

The next person was Ching, my bestie in Taiwan. She's been busy recently with the change of her new career, therefore no time to chit chat lately. I guess she needed some refreshment from the bucket of ice water to freshen up her brain hehe... Ching, you can do it! Jia you!

Last but not least, my bestie whom I've known since childhood time, Shelly ;) She is such a sociable person and kind heart in nature. So I'm sure she will be glad to accept the challenge and share this challenge with the rest of her friends ;)

So, have fun guys! I'm waiting for your videos soon on Facebook! :D

Thursday, August 28, 2014

One afternoon on a raining day...

After a quick lunch at office Cafeteria, I picked One Night @ the Call Center by Chetan Bhagat from my bag and then walked up and got out from my office building. Once I opened the door, bbrrrrr….. I could feel cool breeze blowing surrounded me. Wow!!! I thought they installed one giant air-con out there, but hell no, they didn’t. However, it was drizzling.

As usual, I headed to my hideaway, sitting at one corner, and started opening up my book. From that position I could still feel the cool air. How wonderful!!! I tried so hard to concentrate reading the words written there, however, my mind preferred wandering around :)

Pic source: pinterest.com

How nice the weather is now
I wish I don’t have to go back to work
Imagine,
what will I do if I really don’t have to go back to work??

Hhhhmmm……
The restaurant there will be a great place to sit on
They have outdoor seating arrangement
Many foreigners are sitting down, enjoying their lunch, plus couple bottles of beer on their table

Ya, ya…
I will be having my lunch there too if I don’t have to work now
I’ll order the thin crust pizza plus some Buffalo chicken wings
Hhmm… my favorite
Plus a bottle of Corona with a slice of lime on it

It will be great if there is accompany
My bestie or my hubby will be perfect
We’ll chit chat while enjoying our meals
We can hear the American and British accent murmuring sound
Stay with me by Sam Smith and ‘ting-tang’ cutlery and plates sound crowd our surrounding

“Bill please,” asked me once we finished

We moved to the next ice cream store
They also have outdoor seating
We chose that rattan chair with comfy cushion seat
With transparent white umbrella on top of it

Instead of ordering ice cream, 
I chose that beautiful Lemon Meringue from their display cabinet
It looks delicious and tempting!
And a tiny cup of espresso will be a perfect companion! :)

I’m not a smoker
But if I am, perhaps I’ll start light up that tiny cigarette,
made especially for lady
That will feel great for such weather!!!

“Hey Overcome, what are you doing there?” 

I was surprised with the sound mentioning my name. I looked to where the sound came from. Oh, my colleague!! She happened going up from those endless MRT staircases and found me sitting on my hideaway.

Oh, nothing… Just read some book,” claimed me while showing her the book on my hand.

I looked at my watch and time showed 12.58pm. Yalama!!! Time to go back to work lah!!! I stood up, cleaned up the back side of my pants and walked back towards my office, passing by those two restaurants that I had lunch before (in my dream). I watched those dreams in reality (without me), of course, and shook my head full of sadness then smiled to myself for the wondrous daydreaming ^^

The ice cream shop played the Pink Martini's song, Sympathique, as I walked through it. The lyrics were so “ME”!!!

“Je ne veux pas travailler
Je ne veux pas dejeuner
Je veux seulment l’oublier
Et puis je fume”

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Friendship


It was one of my wondrous moments of my life, my first break away from home sweet home and family members, to lead an independent life alone for a one solid year to a country that the language was so distant and remote from my own. I felt so dumb and useless since I couldn’t understand what the words were written or spoken, but at least not so foreign as we shared the same skin color, face type, and so on. That was why I was going there in 1996. My main purpose was to learn on how to speak, read and write Chinese language in Beijing, China.

The first month of my arrival was kind of nightmare. To save my parent’s money, I chose the cheapest room rate available at that moment (US$3/day). I stay in a dormitory that had no air-con and no elevator. My room was located at the fourth floor. I had to share a room with another roommate, and I chose to stay with foreigner rather than with Indonesian – otherwise I wouldn’t be able to improve my language skill faster.

The whole floor was occupied by women and we shared three cubicles of toilets and one washing area at one corner. As for taking a bath, all of us (the whole building) had to share the eight cubicles, which was located at first floor (for women), and second floor (for men). Hot water would only available after 7pm – so we only took a bath once a day (at night) and we had to queue up with our toiletries inside the small basket at one hand and towel with clothes at another hand.

It was good though. This way, we had more chance to meet more people who stayed at the same building. We could make more friends and converse more in Chinese while waiting, washing, brushing teeth and so on, therefore, speed up our learning rate.

Every once a week we had to bring our dirty bed sheet to a place to get a change with a cleaned one plus one roll of pink and rough tissue paper as a bonus. Oh ya, when you went to toilet, you had to bring your own toilet paper. They didn’t provide it there. And the quality of the paper was horrible. Your buttock could scratch and painful because of it hahaha…

Those days, there was no hand phone. If you want to call, there was a public phone (using phone card) available just outside our dormitory building. As for receiving a call, there was only one landline inside the building, which was put in the first floor (reception area). When someone called up or came, the staff would contact us by announcing it through the speaker that was connected to each of our room and we had to run the staircases down, all the way to level 1 to receive it.

My first roommate was Korean girl, which was older than me by 2 years. As it was my first encounter living abroad, I didn’t know much about Korean culture before where we had to give fully and extra respect to someone who is older than us. E.g. I should call her ‘Eonni’ means elder sister, but instead, I called her by name. I didn’t have a habit to call people like that, including to my own siblings. A bit unusual though, but that was my habit. And I usually treated people the same, regardless their age. I respect them all, but with same level. So she wasn’t that happy when I treated her like that. Therefore we just treated the room as our living place, with less interaction with each other.

The heater in our room was small and not strong enough to heat the whole room. There was no sunlight entering my room too. I was freezing cold at night during autumn and winter time and often fell sick. I really tempted to move to the room at the opposite side. Luckily there was someone leaving once the semester in winter ended. My new roommate was a Japanese lady. She was a refined type. She was willing to accept me as her roommate. So, I moved out to her room. This time I felt much better. The sunlight had brought big impact to the room and my health.

Back in 1997 - Akiko in grey sweater

Her name was Akiko. We got along very well. I could blend well with her Japanese friends and she too, could blend well with my Indonesian friends. Sometimes we would cook Japanese or Indonesian food and invited some of our friends to eat together. From her, I managed to know a Chinese friend, who has now become one of my best friends.

We once traveled together during winter break. She brought her Japanese friend, and I brought my Korean ‘Eonnie’, one of my closest friends at that period. Four of us went to Harbin, an ice city, located at northeastern part of China. In winter, the temperature there was as low as -24 degree Celsius. We took train there from Beijing, around 12-hours journey. The place was very famous for its beautiful and colorful ice and snow sculpture. River had frozen into the icing ring. We could even ride the horse sleigh on top of it.

Winter short break in Harbin, China - Jan 1997

The coldness of -24 degree wasn’t a joke. All of us had to wear 2 to 3 layers of cloths plus an outer jacket filled with down feather to keep ourselves warm outdoor. It was a rare and great experience to all of us. We had to walk carefully as the ice had become very slippery and easy to fall down.

By July 1997, I had finished my two-semester of Chinese language there and I had to leave the country back home. It was time to say goodbye to everyone there. From then on, we had separated in our own ways, doing whatever things that we ought to do. I tried to keep in touch with some of them through letters. That time, hand phone and internet weren’t available yet. It wasn’t easy to keep all in touch. As I myself had to study abroad, and some of them also moved to other countries, made it difficult to remain contactable.

However, this Monday morning, I received an email from Akiko, saying that she would come to Singapore on Tuesday, just for a short two days visit. I was very happy receiving her email because first, all this while we seldom made contact, but luckily somehow I managed to get her email address. She seldom replied my email as she preferred not to write in English and a bit lazy to write in Chinese and once in a while I would send her email just to make sure that the email was still in use so we wouldn’t lost contact. The last time I heard about her was that her husband and she were in USA, and that was also in many years back.

I joyfully replied her email immediately giving her my contact number, asking her to call me, and hoping that she would spare some of her time to meet up with me. And she did. She called me in the morning once she and her husband reaching Singapore. We set time to meet at night in Chinatown.

So yesterday after work, I browsed around Chinatown before they came, buying some gifts. Since they only have short time to stay, I bought some local specialty snacks like bakkwa (Chinese BBQ pork) and traditional local-made moon cakes (the festival is coming soon on 8th September). After that I waited for them inside the MRT Station.

We finally met again!!! :)

They finally came! OH…. I finally met her and her husband! After more than 17 years, after being separated as far as US and Switzerland, Indonesia and Japan, we both finally met up in Singapore! It was their first visit here so they were exciting to visit the Chinatown. We immediately went to Chinatown Food Street as we were quite tired and hungry and chose some Singapore local food for us to eat. We sat, ate and chit chatted. I showed her some of our old photos that I still keep on my mobile phone. At 9 pm we left and I brought them to Clarke Quay for a while, to have a different feeling of Singapore’s night life.

We had to leave early as they hadn’t had enough sleep and were very tired from the whole day walking around.

When reached home, I told my hubby about my feelings. I told him that I was overwhelmed and feeling very grateful that after so long, she was still remembering me and even making an effort to meet me despite she only had two short days in Singapore. She even prepared gifts for me. Thank you very much to both of you! :)

Lovely gifts from Japan - Arigato gozaimasu :)

I always respect her and treated her like my protector during my stay in Beijing. She taught me some way of cooking Japanese food too, like how to cook Japanese curry, how to make homemade strawberry jam, and so on. Thank you Akiko, thank you Nick, for your friendship spirit!!! One day if I happen to visit Tokyo again, I’ll bring my son along so that we can visit the Gundam factory located near your hometown in Shizuoka, and of course, to visit both of you :) Also, please come to Singapore again, and this time, stay longer ^^

Monday, August 25, 2014

I am grateful for

Pic source: Google.com

Thank you SB for another great new day given to me :)

I am grateful for having a fate with Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha in my present life that have guided and taught me on how to live my life in this world and overcome all the hurdles and challenges in life :)

I am grateful for having enough and very good sleep last night

I am grateful for waking up with very good health this morning

I am grateful for living in this country that is safe, peaceful, away from natural disaster, blessed with good weather, bountiful source of good food, clean water, reliable source of gas and electricity that makes it a wonderful place to live in

I am grateful for living under a humble flat that is safe, clean, and everything works perfectly

I am grateful for another day chance to spend with my family members at home

I am grateful for having wonderful parents, siblings and in-laws, nieces and nephews located around the world with wonderful love and health blessed to all of them

I am grateful for having great parents who have shaped me on who I am today and their continuous love and care despite the different countries that we live in. Without them, I am nothing

I am grateful for having magnificent siblings whom I learn most of things in life from their experience. They value family, love and relationship more than anything and I’m glad that I’m part of this wonderful family!

I am grateful for having a very understanding spouse who believes in things that I do and let me exploring the world; feed my thirst and hunger of adventures in life, and most importantly want me to always be happy

I am grateful for having a son who is in very good health, intelligent in his own way, loving me on who I am and I love him the way he is

I am grateful for having many friendly relatives all over the world who value our relation and togetherness

I am grateful for smiley sunlight welcomes me on the way to the MRT station

I am grateful for the seat in the MRT that lets me rest and read my book on my journey to and from work

I am grateful for a wonderful and suitable job for me to do

I am grateful for a great team under my section who values teamwork and understanding toward each other

I am grateful for a wonderful Boss who appreciates my work and gives me freedom to arrange and plan my work

I am grateful for wonderful colleagues in and outside my department

I am grateful for having best friends who are more than just colleagues in my working place

I am grateful for the manageable work and task that I need to handle

I am grateful for the working environment that although deserves attention, but many people are working on the betterment and healthier of it

I am grateful for the opportunity to practice yoga and cycling in a safe and great environment plus wonderful yoga teacher who teaches us and guides us on what to do ^^

I am grateful for being able to follow my passion in writing journal, reading, blogging, doing what I love to do, with so much freedom on my hand

I am grateful for finding many great books in the library whenever I need it

I am grateful for having chance to explore many countries in the world that I’d never been to before and went there with my loved ones; or sometimes went there alone, but met up with my beloved friends at the other side

I am grateful for the good health, safety and protection encounters in each of my visit

I am grateful for the faster recovery and right treatment when I was sick and in need of it

I am grateful for having many best friends in my life that lives within the country I live in

I am grateful for having many best friends in my life that lives outside this country and yet our connections strong in our hearts that we still contact and support each other often

I am grateful for having many old good and best friends that would contact me whenever they come to this country. Although sometime they didn’t manage to meet due to their busy schedules, but contacting and remembering me are more than enough for me

I am grateful for having many other friends including those I’ve never met before. They have been source of inspirations in my life. Their love, care and attention amaze me!

I am grateful for having met with the wrong ones (be it friends or wrong relationships), so that I know what the right ones are and to treasure them in life to the fullest!

I am grateful for having many loyal blogger readers who read each my blog post and give comments on it. Your valuable time to read and comment inspire me to write more and better post :)

So, again, thank you SB for everything!!! Thank you, thank you, and thank you!!!

Hope everyone who read this have wonderful time and life out there!!! :)

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Singapore Night Festival 2014

Singapore Night Festival 2014 - ZingO

Singapore Night Festival 2014 - William Close with his giant Earth Harp

It's in town again!!! The theme for this year is "Bold and Beautiful". Yesterday it finally commenced in many area starting from the night light: Umbrella at School of the Arts (SOTA), movie screenings at Rendezvous Hotel, night lights Cyanes by Cumulus (France) near the Cathay Green, night lights with sounds Spirits of Nature projecting along the Singapore Art Museum's building, many other night lights along the SMU and Queen St., the spectacular musical performance of giant "Earth Harp" by William Close and local drum group - ZingO - must watch performance!!!, projections night lights Divine Trees by Clément Briend on trees located nearby the Singapore National Museum, night light the Insert Caption Please by RYF located at the front lawn of the National Museum, roving performance artists along the Armenian Street liven up the night with their instruments, live hardcore bands at the same street, night light Dresses of Memory by Taegon Kim and Alsos by Scenocosme at the Armenian Church, and many more.

Singapore Night Festival 2014 - Dresses of Memory by Taegon Kim 

There will be three more days for you to visit and experience the different festival programmes, which is tonight, next Friday, 29 Aug and next Saturday, 30 Aug. Click here for the official website and details (timing, duration, location, map, etc.). As for the night lights, it will be opened from 22 to 30 Aug, Fri and Sat from 7.30pm to 2am, Sun to Thu from 7.30pm to 11 pm.

Singapore Night Festival 2014 - Divine Trees by Clément Briend

Wow, how time flies!!! I experienced it for my first time last year, alone. Click here for my last year's review. Compared to last year, this time the places, exhibitions, and performances were scattered around in many areas. It's your choice where you want to go and what to experience along the way.

video


I had great times last night together with my bestie. We watched the William Close's - the giant Earth Harp performance together with ZingO drum, and it was very great experience to see how the musical instruments can be so creatively created by human being to produce beautiful sound of music to be enjoyed immensely. A short clip above for your view :)

Singapore Night Festival 2014 - Roving performance artists in front of Peranakan Museum, Armenian Street

We also experience many other lighting and musical performance around the area. It was fun, entertaining, and amazed us. So, what to wait for? Prepare your camera and move your butt tonight and have fun!!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

I loved it when...


I loved it when…
Three of us prepared our weekend’s breakfast together
I fried sunny-side eggs and sausages, whipped different type of noodles
My hubby boiled the water inside the kettle and prepared our tea and coffee
While my son would wash the dishes afterwards
Watched them eating with gusto gave me a hearty satisfaction although sometimes I would shake my head looking at their bulging bellies

I loved it when…
Once a week hubby and I would watch the latest Running Man show together at night before sleeping
We both would laugh until our tears coming and our stomach paining

I loved it when…
One afternoon my son was having a good mood and he called me up
Before ending our conversation, he suddenly said, “Have a nice day mummy!!!”
I would answer, “Same to you baby… I love you baby…”
He said, “I love you too mummy…”
“Muachhh…,” I sent my flying kiss from the phone, and he too replied, “Muachhh…”
Then we both hung up

I loved it when…
The time he kissed me, he just took a bath
So that I could smell the fragrant soap smell from his chubby cheeks
And make sure he didn’t eat anything
Or otherwise I ended up kissing his oily lips or having oily cheeks

I loved it when…
My son was having good mood at home and I was sitting in front of my desktop doing some work
He came over to me and placed his face closer to mine
He granted me a sudden kiss from his thick lips towards my cheeks
And said, “I love you Mummy…” 
I turned my body towards him, spread my arms widely, hugged him all around his big and fat stomach, and lay my head on it for a while
Felt it as if a soft big pillow on my head
And replied him gently, “I love you too Baby…”

I loved it when…
He told me to go over to his room after I finished bathing
It was night time and my son was getting ready to sleep
I went inside and he welcomed me by sitting down on his bed, and he opened his both arms widely
I accepted it by giving him a very big and firm hugs
We would perform our ‘kissing’ style - kiss his right and left chubby cheeks, then his lips
He kissed my left and right cheeks, then my lips
We hug each other again
And I would say, “I love you baby….”
He too said, “I love you too mummy…”
We lie down on his bed together and had a chit chat
Afterwards, I would check if he had brushed his teeth or not
He would purposely blow the air from his mouth and said, “Yes”, although he hadn’t done it yet and giggled, hoping that I believed his words
I knew when he hadn’t brushed it yet and would ask him to go to toilet and brush it immediately
He would then ask me to pull his BIG size body from his bed, or otherwise he would stuck on his bed forever
Having no choice, I had to pull him up and even push him to the door, making sure he entered the toilet and brushed his teeth (not just peeing)
In case he had already brushed his teeth, before going out from his room, I would say, “Good night baby… I love you…”
He too answered, “Good night Mummy, I love you too…”

You know what?
Having a family is a blessing to me
Having family members who love me is a wonderful thing ever happens to me.

All of us are not perfect,
and we have experienced many woe and weal together
No one would or could understand better on who we are

No matter how bad I scolded my son, or sometimes punished him terribly,
he would come back to me saying sorry with smiling face and his row of teeth,
hoping that I’d forgive him faster

No matter how often hubby and I were in silence mode,
that wouldn’t last long too as we forgave each other too easy,
as love surpasses it all

Thank you SB for everything!!!
I am very grateful with everything and feel calm, peace and happiness inside my heart
Thank you, thank you, and thank you!!!

Monday, August 18, 2014

One night in his room...

By 11 pm I had already covered my body behind my blanket lying down comfortably under the blowing air-conditioner inside my room. I just finished typing out the daily teaching of Rhonda Byrne into my Facebook page, turned off my bedside light, and went deep into a sleep, into a faraway dreamland.

By 4 am I was awoken; this time, by a strange smell.

My nose was very sensitive in smelling any kind of smell until it could warn my nerve to get up from my deep sleep. Count it as a blessing or unfortunate?

Blessing because I twice saved our old house from getting burned due to my mother-in-law forgot turning off the stove when boiling the leftover soup. And it was unfortunate because I knew if someone had just had a cigarette and the smell annoyed me a lot!

So last night, I got out from my room, walked down into the living room, kitchen, service yard, trying to track down where the weird smell was coming from. Sometimes the smell might come from outside, which was out of our control, i.e. burning smell.

I tried to smell the air from outside, but instead, I smelled the fragrant softener from the hanging clothes in our service yard. That weird smell was contained within our house only. It’s sweetish kind of smell, more than I ever imagined.

I decided to go back into my room. Perhaps, I was thinking too much. But before I opened my room’s door, I saw dim light from underneath my son’s room’s door.

I was thinking, this hour? 4am? He should be in deep sleep ba? But I couldn’t justify my curiosity for the source of the weird smell.

I opened his door slowly and guess what I found???

Pic source: vectorstock.com

I saw the table lamp turned on with my son sitting down on a chair in front of my desktop, crossing his both legs, one hand holding the bowl filled with almost-finished instant noodle plus one cheese sausage, and another hand holding the chopstick. His both ears were plugged with earpiece while he was watching a video from YouTube from my sister-in-law’s iPad mini. And it was at 4 am in the morning!!!

I almost couldn’t believe it! I even thought I was dreaming. My son? Eating instant noodle at this hour? With iPad turned on?

I looked at him and asked him, “What are you doing?”

“I am eating.” 

Obviously.

“At this hour? Do you know what time it is now?”

“Ya….” He answered me all calmly and innocently.

“I woke up myself and cook lah..” he continued."

“But do you know that you’re having exam later?” I asked him back.

“Ya. Then?”

“Then you should have enough sleep. Why you woke up at this hour and eat?”

“After I eat, I will sleep again lah…” he answered while biting his last sausage and slurping the soup from inside the bowl.

While other students might wake up early due to having too much pressure from the exam and trying to study more early in the morning, my lovely son was watching video from YouTube and eating noodles comfortably not even bother about the upcoming exam.

I took the iPad mini from his hands. “After finish, go back and sleep!” ordered me and I left his room.

OMG!!! So that’s where the weird smell coming from! I never once thought this thing would happen to him. No wonder he grows fatter every single day and this, might be one of the reasons why!!!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage


I found it out only last Friday from our daily local newspaper. It was the latest published book by the contemporary Japanese writer, Haruki Murakami. It's his thirteenth novel, translated by Philip Gabriel and released in US and UK on 12th Aug 2014.

I called the nearest book store on the same day and asked if it was on the shelf now, and the staff said yes, it was. I bought it right away during lunch time with no hesitation and spent my whole Saturday reading and devoured it 'til the end.

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami

The story was about Tsukuru Tazaki, a colorless young man, haunted by a great loss of his four best friends from high school time, whom had names related to color. Kei Akamatsu - nicknamed 'Aka' means red. Yoshio Oumi - nicknamed 'Ao' means blue. The other two girls were Yuzuki Shirane - nicknamed 'Shiro' means white, and Eri Kurono Haatainen - nicknamed 'Kuro' means black. Tsukuru remained as Tsukuru as no color meaning related to his name.

During summer of his sophomore year in college, four of them vanished from his life. Why? He only found it out many years later, and that was also because of Sara Kimoto, a two-year older than him, his current love interest, who told him that it was time for him to find out the reason why they left him all of the sudden from their group of harmonious community.

The story jumped from the past to the present, back to the past and flew to the present time again. But most importantly, what had happened in the past, he tried to mend and solve his emotional issues in his present's life, with the help of Sara.

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage - Haruki Murakami


The story was written in a simple language, very easy to understand, in a very smooth flow. It was a story of love, friendship, his own sight and thinking on who he was, which might different from what others thought him to be, most importantly, his life's journey that made him of who he was now.

Like other Haruki Murakami's book, this book was also associated with music. This time, it related to Franz Liszt's 'Le mal du pays' - which means 'homesickness' in French, from his Years of Pilgrimage suite 'Year 1: Switzerland."  It was a piano played often by one of Tsukuru's best friend, which reflected sound of sadness.

It's so far his most remarkable book that I enjoyed reading so much. It's logical. It reminds me of a friend that I once had, on why he chose the solitary life as he was afraid to lose the person he loved over and over again, as it was really really an awful feeling to have. 

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage - Haruki Murakami

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Gifts from Bhutan :)

It’s mid-August now. It’s been almost a year since the last time I visited Bhutan. Read more about my trip here. Summer will soon end and autumn will gradually come.

Uuhhh… how time flies… I still remember vividly all the memories I had during my visit there. I’ve created lots of good memories and met up with lots of new Bhutanese friends. I had also finally made friends with many Bhutanese women, which initially I only knew mostly Bhutanese men as friends. He-he… ^^

Had a great time in Bumthang :)

When there is beginning, there should be an end. After three-week there, I finally had to come back home. Going somewhere then leaving the place is part and parcel of our lives, especially for travelers. We may only have one chance to visit one place. If we’re lucky, we can visit more. If not, once is enough. We are reminded of the impermanence at all times. That’s why I have to make sure that I have spent my time to the fullest on each trip!!

Over the past one year, I still contact with most people in Bhutan, mainly through Facebook. As more Bhutanese get more access towards Internet through their mobile phone and Internet cable at office or home, they have become easier to be contacted.

Sometimes when opportunity arose (usually when there was anyone flying to or from Bhutan) I would send them something from here randomly, as a gesture of my appreciation, love, and thank you to them because they have treated me very well when I was there, and I am very very grateful for their unconditional love and care to me. They have treated me as if I was their sister and family member. Or otherwise, I would send them gift through airmail. But it wasn’t very reliable as I once lost a box of parcel full of stuffs to Bumthang :(

So last month, there was a friend in Bumthang who was asking me if there was anyone flying back to Singapore from Bhutan as she wanted to give me something. When I knew there was someone flying and would come back to Singapore again, I informed her. Then she found a way to send the gift from Bumthang to Thimphu. From Thimphu, she left the items with her sister and then arranged passing it to the person. Since the person wasn’t immediately leaving Bhutan, there were other two persons also wanted to pass me their gifts.

Yesterday finally their gifts arrived in Singapore and I immediately collected it from Yeshey. Thank you very much Yeshey for making this happened! I didn’t expect that they were quite heavy as Devi has given me a bottle of local made honey from Bumthang. She decided to give me that when she knew I was having flu, cold and cough continuously for more than a month some time ago. She thought this honey could help to soothe my throat and lung. How thoughtful she was!!! Thank you dear! :)

Gifts full of love from Bumthang :)

Muna sis and Suneet have gifted me a kira. Wow, I have two kira now! I love the color so much! It’s quite different with what I had, very sweet :) Yeshey and her husband, Phungsuk, gave me a big and beautiful Yathra bag. Both presents were wrapped nicely in an envelope and sealed well with masking tape. They both wrote my name and address on it. Yeshey even put a short note for me. It was very sweet la! Thank you very much to all of you for the lovely gifts!!! I really love it! :)

There were also gifts given by Rekha, a Bhutanese blogger that I made friend with since some time ago. Both of us has the same passion, which is reading and I often ask her suggestion on what books to read as I wasn’t in touch with books for many years.

She too, was asking me on what I wanted from Bhutan. Since she knew that I am Buddhist and love reading Buddhist book, she offered me the Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche’s book, Not for Happiness. And since I didn’t have it yet, she decided to give me that as a gift. She also gifted me a pair of earrings and necklace that she browsed it often at the Thimphu’s weekend market during her free time. They were lovely, Bumo! :)

Gifts from Bhutan. Kadinche-la Rekha! :)

I requested one thing from her though!!! I asked her if she could buy the Parle-G biscuits, biscuits manufactured in India, but has been sold for many years in Bhutan, for me. Hahahaha…. I wasn’t aware about the biscuit during my trip there. But afterwards I found out that this biscuit has won many Bhutanese hearts as they have had it since their childhood time. They love having it with their tea during their morning or evening tea break.

Even for current generation children, many of them are fed this biscuit for their breakfast. I was just a little surprised seeing the big packaging because I thought it would come in a small packet :) But indeed, there were four small packets inside when you opened it.

I was feeling like a child when eating it this morning with a cup of hot ginger tea he-he... It was sweet, crunchy, and delicious! Thank you so much Rekha for making my simple dream come true! :)

Had Parle-G biscuits with tea this morning :)

Ummhhhh…. I feel very grateful and blessed!!! Thank you everyone for all your lovely gifts!!! Thank you, thank you, and thank you!!! Hope all of you blessed with good health and life filled with lots of joy and happiness!!! :) Have a wonderful day everyone! ^^

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Happy 49th National Day, Singapore!!!

As the clock ticks away towards midnight, I heard a slow music coming from the radio inside my room. The song was so soothing and warmth my heart. It's 'Home', a song composed by Dick Lee in 1998 and sung by Kit Chan.

Whenever I am feeling low, 
I look around me and I know
There's a place that will stay within me
Wherever I may choose to go

I will always recall the city
Know every street and shore
Sail down the river which brings us life
Winding through my Singapore

This is home, truly...
where I know I must be
Where my dreams wait for me, 
where the river always flow...

This is home, surely...
as my senses tell me
This is where I won't be alone,
for this is where I know it's home...

Then I realized, how time flies and yesterday Singapore celebrated its 49th National Day.

Singapore has been my home now since almost nine years ago. But not once I ever watch the yearly national day celebration. I have only applied for its ticket in these past few years, but I never get it at all. They use the ballot system to distribute the ticket and as populations grow, the chance has become much more difficult. Even many my true blue Singaporean friends and family members don't get the ticket as well and all that they can do is watching the live show on their TV at home. 

A month before the day, they usually hold the rehearsal once every Saturday evening, inviting every Primary 5 school students all around Singapore to become the viewers and audiences, giving them a chance to see how the national day celebration looks and feels like. They receive goodies bag filled with many things sponsored by many companies. In each celebration, there is firework displayed and it has become the additional entertainment and enjoyment for everyone who are in nearby area.

My bestie watches it every year from afar. She always spends her Saturday evening at nearby area and waits there until the firework is over. And for my 13 years here, never once I purposely go to nearby area to watch the firework despite there is always an intention to go and watch. Why? Because of the crowds.

The celebration usually starts at about 5.30pm but people will reach the nearby area hours before that to 'chop' a good place to sit and view. After that they have to wait until it starts.

This year they held it at the Float @Marina Bay. They have been holding it since 2007 when the usual place, Padang, or National Stadium, underwent the major renovation. Since the Stadium's renovation had finally done this June, they may hold the next year celebration back to where it belongs. Therefore, while it's still held at the Float @Marina Bay, where there were more places to sit through, more accessible and with a beautiful surrounding view, I decided to see the firework once, this year.

I dragged my hubby along there. All through his life, he never had an intention to view, even once as he hated crowd. And as you know, the final celebration day would surely invite a massive crowd. 

Both of us wore red shirts just like the rest of Singaporean and Permanent Residents who attended the NDP or National Day Parade and we reached Marina Bay Sands in the evening time. We browsed around the area before deciding where to sit.

Mixture of people filled up the place - NDP 2014

At 5pm, the place had been so crowded filled with so many people around the world. It was holiday so you could see many Chinese and Indian construction workers, foreign talent workers, tourists from many different countries filled up the place. For once, I was wondering in which country where I was as I felt like a minority in my own country. 

Now I could fully understand what and how Singaporean feels toward the recent development and population growth that packed up their small red dot and the reason why they were unsatisfied with government's move and how it went out of control.

Anyway, hubby and I were taking turn chopping the place. Before it started, we made sure we had emptied out our bladder (as we had to walk very far to reach the full and long queue toilet), and filled our stomach with food and drink purchased nearby the area to make sure we had enough energy to stand up for the rest of the time hahaha.... :D

Luckily the weather was good. The sun came down soon, the wind blew and the cloudy rain just walked past above us, therefore, no rain. We could hear the opposite's excitement from where we sat down.

The view of Singapore NDP 2014 at night

There were more people coming in as the sky turned dark and everyone tried to get the good place to catch a good view. Various lights illuminated the surrounding area beautifying the whole places.

Fireworks - Singapore NDP 2014

There were lots of small fireworks blown up in between of the performance and it was right in front of us. How lucky we were!!!

When the bigger fireworks came reaching the end of the celebration, we all ran to another side to get a better view. Click here to watch the video (pardon me for the poor quality). They were flown in two different areas and we had to simply be aware with both directions. Mixture of sweat smell filled up the air as the crowds getting in, and this, signed the realness of being there, witnessing the celebration for all of us.

Thank you Singapore for everything. For the joy and hardship, happiness and sorrow. It has become part and parcel of our life in this Universe but nevertheless, it's been one of the great places to live on earth. Thank you, thank you, and thank you!!! Happy Birthday to you once again!!!

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Durian dilemma in Singapore

Just when Xiao Li was about to draw money using the ATM machine inside the shopping mall, she heard the durian seller calling her, “Xiao Mei, come and buy liu lien! I want to close shop liao!” She ignored it for a while and went to draw her money. Once done, she passed by the same road again and Uncle Durian was still there and called her again, “Xiao Mei, come, buy the liu lian. Offer liao! Offer!! I give you good price la. Uncle don’t have fridge at home, can’t keep this. Your house should have fridge, you buy more lah…

Few days ago, she was just talking about it. It’s been months or maybe year since she ate durian for the last time. She doesn’t have car and stays a bit ‘ulu ulu’ (isolated) where not many durian seller can be found nearby her house. Taxi, MRT, and bus? Durian is not allowed to enter to those premises. Alamak!

“How much ah Uncle?” she asked.

“Clear stock lah… I count you five dollar each, so 6 packets thirty dollars,” replied him.

She looked the price stated on each packet. Some written $20, some S$15. "Hm... Good bargain," Xiao Li talked to herself.

“But I take MRT leh Uncle…”

“No problem lah Xiao Mei! I will wrap it nice nice to you. Guarantee no smell coming out,” assured him.

“Oklah…!” She took out three pieces of ten-dollar notes and passed it to Uncle Durian and that’s the end of the agreement.

She walked to the MRT station calmly. Despite knowing that she shouldn’t bring the durian inside the MRT, she took that risk bravely. She even chose the end of the MRT carriage so that there wouldn’t be many people inside, especially at night time, where many shops had been closed.

Although her working place was just four stations away from home, there were still people who behaved weirdly in the train after smelling the durian when she entered.

One aunty started showing funny face. Her eyes rolled left and right trying to find out where the smell was coming from and at the same time she closed her nose with her fingers.

Some other passengers were acting blurred as if there was nothing happened although they could sense some durian inside the carriage.

Xiao Li ‘ba bodoh’ or acted blurred at the moment she saw the aunty was doing thing like that. She tried to ignore it by watching movie on her mobile phone with earpiece stucked on her both ears. Inside, she prayed hard that the aunty would get out soon or the MRT would reach her destination very soon.

Once the MRT reached, she brought the plastic bag out and walked calmly as if nothing happened and once she got out from the station and went to fresh air zone, she then could breathe freely and smile ;)

Once reached home, she was very happy that she was finally able to open the packet, let the smell coming out and enjoyed her durian with her loved ones.

Well, that’s the common scenario happening here in Singapore. People brings durian as if they bring some dangerous poison and only the 'riches' who own the car are able to buy and carry it back home, or otherwise those people who live at HDB block nearby the pasar or market, and durian stall.

No durian signage

And for people like Xiao Li, to enjoy durian you have to act blur, thick skin, and ready to get scold or bear risk of being kicked out from the Taxi, MRT and bus. Although she won’t get FINE for bringing it inside the MRT, however, the sign of ‘No Durian allowed’ can be found in every MRT station. And like the above story, she had to bear the weird behavior and funny look from other passengers.

You should be lucky if you are living at the country where there is no restriction of bringing durian inside the public transport, or where you are able to own or borrow transport from others to carry the durian to home. It is just kind of disappointing that because of these kinds of restrictions, we can’t enjoy the durian often. Sad no?

Anyway, I’m glad I finally had my durian and it’s all thanks to people like ‘Xiao Li’ :D Will you buy again later?? I pay lah.. Can??? :P

Monday, August 04, 2014

Gorgeous orchids to brighten up your life!!! Enjoy!!! :)

National Orchid Garden Singapore

Dear my blog readers,

Fyi, I'm not an orchid expert so I won't know their hybrid types and names well. I was only amazed with the beauty of it when I visited the National Orchid Garden Singapore yesterday.

Below please find various photographs for your viewing pleasure and since I wasn't allowed to pluck it and mail it to you, please take it as if they were post cards sent from me to you. Enjoy!!! :)

National Orchid Garden Singapore

National Orchid Garden Singapore

Tiger Orchid - National Orchid Garden Singapore

National Orchid Garden Singapore

National Orchid Garden Singapore

National Orchid Garden Singapore

National Orchid Garden Singapore

National Orchid Garden Singapore

National Orchid Garden Singapore

National Orchid Garden Singapore

National Orchid Garden Singapore

National Orchid Garden Singapore

National Orchid Garden Singapore

National Orchid Garden Singapore

National Orchid Garden Singapore

National Orchid Garden Singapore

National Orchid Garden Singapore

National Orchid Garden Singapore

National Orchid Garden Singapore

National Orchid Garden Singapore

National Orchid Garden Singapore

May the above orchids brighten up your days and week ahead! It fills your life full of colors too!!! 

Hereby, I sincerely wish you have a wonderful life out there!!!


Cheers...

Overcome Life :)

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Singapore Botanic Garden

Last month I read incredibly many books. It was 8 in total. My poor eyes. I decided to give them off-day this weekend and instead, I brought them to see the beautiful natures out there.

After spending most of my time at home last weekend, it was time for me to go out. Hmm... I was thinking where to go. Shopping mall is a NO NO!!! I charged my camera's and hand phone's battery, making sure both appliances were fully charged before leaving home. I brought my backpack filling them with those two items, big water bottle, wallet, and mosquito repellent. Where did I go with those stuffs?

"Singapore Botanic Gardens"

Yes, I went the above place this afternoon :) It was one of my dreams to visit this place ^^

I dragged my hubby along since the weather wasn't that hot and I guessed he too, needing some sunlight to burn his skin. Air-conditioner and shades had pampered him too much. Didn't want to disappoint me, he too, went along with me.

Been living here for 13 years, not even once I'd stepped in to the place. I heard about it often from my friends and even did some research on how to go there, but it took me almost a year ago. However, only today I managed to visit the place :) Better still. It was even my hubby's first time - after living all through his life, and only me, could drag him along. Hahaha.... :P

With the new MRT Circle line, it had never been so easy to go there. We changed the MRT in Serangoon and from there, it took five stops to reach the Botanic Garden station. Once we went out, the above place was what we saw.

The place was BIG! We didn't walk the entire place, only some area with one destination on my head. On the way there we just enjoyed the beauty of the natures surrounding us.

Below, please find the photos taken for your viewing pleasure! :)

"Beautiful and graceful" - Singapore Botanic Garden

"Living in camouflage" - Singapore Botanic Garden

"Sip only the beauty and sweetness" - Singapore Botanic Garden

"Varied and enchanting" - Singapore Botanic Garden

"Beautify the harsh and cruel world" - Singapore Botanic Garden

"What a cute creature!!!" - Singapore Botanic Garden

"Holding it tightly, never letting go..." - Singapore Botanic Garden

"Buzzing and flying around" - Singapore Botanic Garden

"The hardworking guys in the town!!!" - Singapore Botanic Garden

"Small yet BIG and scary!!!" - Singapore Botanic Garden

"Don't worry, BEE happy ^^" - Singapore Botanic Garden

"Run and hop around wherever you like" - Singapore Botanic Garden

"Just like ME :)" - Singapore Botanic Garden

Hope you enjoyed it guys! Enjoy the rest of your weekend and don't forget to live life to the fullest!!! Always!!! :)
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