Saturday, September 22, 2018

overseas me vs singapore me

it's already almost the end of the month!
when i first started this post it was mid-sept but now we're almost at the end of the month oops. 
so i guess i better quickly blog about august, before it's time to blog about september already haha. 
finally had a chance to take a short trip out of Singapore in august!
it was a nice break after busy and long days at work during my work orientation. 
it was also my mom's birthday so it was nice to take a trip to celebrate. 

people who know me know that i travel a lot - lots of little trips here and there and so it's amazing how i've been able to keep still for so many months without a trip haha.
but i guess if you just started a new job, you don't really have much of a choice haha.
anyway, glad to be back in Asia cause the short trips now will be Bali, Bangkok, etc.
it's been years since i've been back to some of those places, plus there are lots more to explore. 
definite perk of being back in Singapore.
and not to mention, yay closer to korea and hk and all the good asian food haha.
the one place i still miss a lot though is Disneyland haha.
but i guess i'll just have to make do with HK Disneyland as well as shanghai Disneyland.
shanghai Disneyland is definitely on my list cause that's one i haven't been to yet. 

our hk trip in august was good, despite the fact that it was super hot and super rainy as well.
and even when it was raining it was hot omg. 
summer in asia haha. the humidity is really no joke.
we brought neck pillows on board the flight and i tucked my hair inside the pillow to sleep while my sister decided to tuck her hair out. and this is what resulted hahahaha. we were dying of laughter on the plane haha. 
all set and ready to start our trip
mother missing from this photo cause she was still in the toiler haha 
 all set and ready to go!
started with some signature food at kam wah - bolo bun, egg tart and pork chop bun
on the super long mid-levels escalator (although you can't see much here)
thankfully we visited tai kwun on the only day it didn't rain while we were there
the aesthetics at this place was amazing
a lot of people there were literally just there for the instaworthy shots i'm sure of that
this room was pretty cool - they have people in there who would measure your height and then mark your name and the date on the wall
all of us with some red clothing since it was national day
these two got bored exploring and decided to entertain themselves hahahahaha
 met up with bryden for dinner at kau kee since he was in town as well
view of Fa Yuen night market from the bridge walking back from Mong Kok station
started day two with a trip to the temple 
us with the birthday girl 
it was good to go for a session and i even bumped into iris inside the temple (she was back in hk for the summer) 
lunch at house of canton with the yummiest egg tarts! 
dim sum in hk is a must 
the view from our hotel room on the gloomy second day we were there 
we lazed around in the hotel for a bit to hide from the rain and then finally headed out to get some dessert at kai kai 
headed to the peak at night cause we already pre-booked tickets but it was so foggy and rainy we couldn't see anything. seriously such a waste of time. so we ended up just exploring the free trick eye place.  
financial district 
day three was still very rainy so we spent most of it just eating and walking around the tsim sha tsui area. we always go to this congee shop when we go to hk - love it!
and of course we had to have some hui lau shan - they used to have a lot of stores at like every corner and now you don't see them around as much
streets of hk 
the portable fans were the first things we bought upon arrival in hk and these things were a lifesaver haha 
a random store selling totoro stuff haha 
finally a clear view of the hk skyline that i didn't get to see from the peak 
family <3 
went up the sky 100 observatory deck because we had already pre-booked tickets again (literally the one trip it didn't pay off to plan and pre-book sigh) and it was raining so we couldn't see much but we still could see something/more than what we saw from the peak  
pork chop and vegetable rice for dinner followed by snack buying before heading back to the hotel since it was our last night in hk

i think we still managed to do quite a lot of things (as i look through those photos now) despite the fact that it was a short trip and it rained a lot. 
i just wished we could have gone to a few more night markets but the rain ruined that haha. 
and because of the weather, we didn't even attempt to go to disneyland haha.
so oh well, next trip now that hk is only a 4-hour flight away hehe. 

that was the highlight of august and then here are the other photos from the month:
this is what sundays look like for me at church
i love how all of us girls have our legs crossed the same way in this meeting haha
national day attire with some of my colleagues that adhered to the red and white dress code haha
love the different flavors you get at mcdonalds in asia
photo shoots always remind me of penna powers 
when you don't have an iron on hand to solve your wardrobe issues haha
 $10 shoes from hk
chimaek with the coworkers - i only had the chi portion of it haha
love that i can play games with my coworkers! avalon in session haha. 

can't believe it's already been 4 months since i moved back and started working in singapore. 
time passes way too quickly.
work has really picked up and i was super stressed this past week.
and i think i'm just going to continue being stressed all the way until my event in early november haha.
i'm super looking forward to 9 november cause then i can breathe a little hahaha. 
and maybe take a short trip to bkk or bali or something. 
but that also means that it will be november and we will be one month away from the last month of the year.
so so scary how time flies so quickly. 

i think i'm getting more used to things here but still kind of trying to figure out who i am here.
it's almost like there's an overseas version of me that i got used to while living overseas and now i have to kind of mold the living back home in singapore version of me. 
it's hard to explain but that's literally how i feel haha.
people always ask me if i miss living back in the states and they never believe me when i say not really.
yes there are things i miss for sure like driving on wider roads (haha), getting things for much cheaper, good shopping, game nights, etc.
but when i'm in singapore, i've found that i no longer have that super empty feeling that i felt a lot in the states.
like in the states i always felt that the fact that i lived so far away from family and close friends caused me to always feel hollow inside. 
but in singapore, i've never once felt that.
i find it hard to navigate the social scene in singapore again but i've never felt the hollow feeling i would sometimes feel randomly at night after work or during the winters when i was in the U.S., and i'm super thankful for that. 
i guess for me, my family for my support system close to me is the most important.

speaking of an overseas version of myself, i realized that i developed a huge love for playing games when i lived overseas haha.
all those nights playing games with our group of friends are much missed!
i always want to play games here in singapore but don't have a core group of friends/enough people to play with and it makes me feel sad and like a part of me is missing haha.
plus in the U.S. it was easy to host game nights especially since we all drove too.
in singapore, i'm happy to host game nights but my friends live so far away from me and we take public transportation so it's just not as convenient haha. 

one thing i definitely miss a lot too is working at P2 haha.
the culture, the people, the way things worked, etc.
i seriously took it all for granted.
not to complain about my current work cause the people are great but i'm not used to certain things for sure - definitely not used to having to create a lot of things myself instead of having the creative team provide amazing design work sigh haha. 
i've also found myself changing to match the work culture here - responding to work-related messages at night after work, doing work on the weekends, thinking about work too much (you know you think about work a lot when you always start your morning prayers praying about work-related things), etc. 
it's so so sad and i miss the days at P2 where people literally would not contact you at all outside of work hours and i could really check out and rest. 

anyway, back to trying to write the speech for my guest of honor for my november event haha. 
wish me luck!
it makes me feel extra sad that i'm actually supposed to be in hawaii right now (booked tickets back in february before i decided to move home and ended up having to cancel my ticket sigh).
i'll just live vicariously through my sister's photos of the trip :(


Saturday, August 4, 2018

no, nothing's ever perfect, but i still call you mine;

time for a 3-months-since-i've-moved-home check in haha.
i still feel like a banana (yellow on the outside and white on the inside) or as Branon would say, a lemon (yellow in and out with a thin layer of white in between) haha.
i still feel a stronger connection to my friends in the U.S. and love to stalk their IG/chat with them haha. 
but i'm getting there.

i just had my 3 weeks long foundation program (aka orientation) at work (yes, 2 months overdue haha) and so i've made some great new friends and won't feel as lost working with different divisions at work anymore.
more familiar faces to wave to around the office building and more lunch kakis hehe. 
although it was tough trying to juggle my work each day and working till midnight trying to catch up after a full day of orientation stuff, it was all worth it in the end.
first day awkwardness haha 
first day team building
on one of our site visits
at gardens by the bay
my favorites
when we go out for dinner, it's quite an ordeal getting everyone together and finding a place big enough to accommodate us all 
dinner conversations when we're out of office are always more natural and chill

besides work, there's been lots going on as well and thankfully there are photos to remind me amidst the hustle and bustle of life. 
because honestly the days just start to become a blur to me when i follow my daily routine of haha.

- World Cup madness: World Cup time was so fun following all the different teams and their matches! it's too bad the World Cup is only once every 4 years. i loved being back in Singapore for the World Cup again cause people in Singapore are more into it than people in the U.S. are haha. My colleagues and i would talk about the different matches and players each day, and we even got together on a friday night to watch one of the matches together so it was just so fun. 
it's also our daddy-daughter bonding tradition for my sister and i with our dad - something we've done since we were young. 
my colleagues and their bets haha - i don't know how many times i heard them say they were going to quit hahaha // England letting me down sigh and my poor dad not getting much sleep that night cause they went into 30 mins extra time sigh haha

- celebrated my birthday with my closest friends and family
massage and lunch with my sister 
the backdrop that i painstakingly worked on but it just couldn't stay up the whole night sad sad sad // TATE TATE was the star of the night walking all around and socializing with my friends haha 
my greatest support in life (sam missing from this photo) 
my lovely birthday cake from zee x elle // blowing the candles out with the help of my little nephews 

- visits from friends from the U.S. - looking forward to many more visits from more people. that's what i love about having friends from all over the world.
my favorite twins from HK!
so fun to have Wendy in town so we could go eat good food!

- amazing sunsets
especially love the pink sunsets

- weekend visit to River Safari to see my favorite pandas
red panda <3 
always eating like a boss hahaha 
my favorite panda bao!

- visited the local fishery port early one morning: it was pretty fascinating to see an old school side of singapore which comes alive in the early hours of the morning. 
our guide from hai sia seafood
walking around the market
loved the creative sign // they cooked salmon for us to sample 
scallops too! the scallops were really sweet 
stuffing our faces at like 3 a.m. hahaha

- attended the NDP preview show. i think the last time i watched NDP live was like 15 years ago. it was quite a good experience (you can definitely feel the Singapore pride!) albeit the heat hahaha. also, side note: i really really love the NDP song this year! my favorite line from the song: "No, nothing's ever perfect, but i still call you mine." that literally sums up how i feel about my whole transition - it's not perfect but ultimately Singapore's still my home, my #1. <3
melting in the heat  
perfect view of MBS 
fly that flag high 
fireworks against that skyline 
night skyline

- started teaching the 3 and 4 year olds at church: seriously such a challenge for me because i'm not a children person and they test my patience every week hahaha. 

- my nephew is seriously entertaining every sunday because he likes to run up to the podium area and always get quickly removed haha
getting dragged down // sulking haha 
"cheeky smile"

- some of my favorite food adventures
my favorite mini pineapples // geylang claypot rice 
amazing (and cheap!) stingray and lalas // jajangmyun! 
claypot yong tau foo // economy bee hoon! 

sorry for the massive photo overload but i'm too tired to function and think of what to write so this will have to suffice for an update for now haha. 
my sister just asked me if i'm blogging or writing my life story hahaha.
i'll try to go back to blogging once a month so i can actually blog properly and not just do a massive photo dump haha.
happy to call this little island my home