December 2020

SHN at Parkroyal Kitchener Road

Went back to Singapore for almost a month for some personal matters, it wasn’t planned and it’s wasn’t for any joyous occasion. Still, I’ll like to note down some experiences, thoughts, and emotions that went through during my journey to and back of Singapore from United States.

Took a morning flight back to Singapore and was surprised by the number of people still travelling in this pandemic, I guess life just goes on, though some people are really dressed in protective gear from head to toe. Can’t blame them tho. We got to layover at Japan, Narita, and honestly we were a little excited – it’s the nearest thing to getting to travel to Japan. However, there were only some stores open, welp better than nothing.

Stay Home Notice with ParkRoyal @ Kitchener Road

Of course we have to serve the Stay Home Notice (SHN) of 14 days in a dedicated hotel. Luckily we left Singapore in late 2018 so we don’t have to fork out the $2000/pax for the mandatory staycation.

Not sure about other hotels, but we were given one of this each to use for the 14 days.
They didn’t even provide detergent.

After collecting our bagages, we were ushered to corner of the airport to register where we waited for a bus that took us to our hotels. We don’t have options as to where we want to stay, I think there’s a rotation system within the dedicated hotels and different batches of flights are brought to different hotels. Some people got Swiss Hotel and some Ritz Carlton but we got ParkRoyal Kitchener ): Welp.

Ok before I start ranting here’s a list of things you better have with you just in case your hotel doesn’t provide – mine provided only the bare necessities.

  • Shampoo and body wash – You’re gonna stay in the same place for 2 weeks, and you have no idea what shampoo they provide you with which may suck and dry your hair out. Luckily Singapore have super developed delivery services like Grab and Food panda that delivers groceries too, so the biggest problem you’ll face.
  • Detergent (Dishwasher and Laundry) – I’m not even exaggerating. ParkRoyal gave us a set of utensils each and want us to use it for 14 days, no problem with that, very environmentally friendly , very much kudos. But can they at least provide dishwasher with it ??? We had our family members sent us some, but we forgot to ask for sponge and used hands to wash it throughout lolol. Yes, hotel not AirBnB, so no washing machine. Yes hotel have laundry services, but ParkRoyal was charging 5 pieces for $20 dollars ?! You bet our cheap ass got our family to send us detergent and washed our clothes in the basin lolol. That’s also when I kind of appreciates Idaho’s dry weather, NOTHING DRIES IN SINGAPORE, ESPECIALLY NOT IN A POORLY VENTILATED HOTEL ROOM. I heard Swiss Hotel provided free laundry services tho, welp.
  • Lots of entertainment – Don’t forget your HDMI cable. Thankfully we brought along our Switch and its dork, computer, books, my studies, hard disks, and a HDMI cable. These kept us very entertained with me almost completing Hyrule Warriors and we binged watched Alice in Borderland and Sweet Home. 14 weeks felt more like 5 days for me. You might even want to bring along a yoga mat if possible.

I think that’s about it. Oh, you should download Grab and FoodPanda too! They can deliver food to the hotel and the staff will bring your orders to your room.

Aisle outside of SHN rooms
Little tables outside the SHN rooms where meals and stuff were placed on.
Our room was 2132.

3 meals were served daily without fail (though I’m pretty sure they forgotten about us on the 3rd day and we starved till I called front desk asking for food). This is FREAKING fattening, the foods were fine, but the consistency of it plus the constant orders coming from grab and endless bubble tea I’m currently the heaviest I’ve ever been my whole life. Yes, became fat before I was released back into wild. Very sad.

Omg so much dust and hair on the floor I cannot.
Imagine the amount of dust 2 person accumulates in a unventilated room for 14 days.
I promise you it’s 100x worse than pictured.

We were ushered in to our rooms after close to 3 hours wait in the hotel lobby after a near 24 hours flight journey. The lifts were key operated where only the staff can bypass the control panel and bring us up. We were not issued any keycards, meaning if we were to leave the rooms, we can’t re-enter – discouraging us to leave our rooms. Of course no one was allowed in to our rooms, just imagine how dirty and messy a room can be with 2 weeks without cleaning supplies. We had to eat on our beds because there was only 1 wall facing desk. However they will provide you with extra sheets and duvet cover when requested, so that’s what we did and we changed our sheets ourselves.

OH YA, if you’re a smoker, sucks to be you. You won’t be able to smoke cause there’s no balcony and there wasn’t any option for us to choose a smoking room for this hotel. Some other hotels have balcony tho, so it’s really up to luck.

First day breakfast.
Foods were served in bento boxes.

We had to do the Covid swb test on the 11th day of our stay which is mandatory for all travellers coming into Singapore. We had to pay for the test ourselves but got a pleasant surprise that the test was $128 instead of the reported $200. It was my first time doing the test, wasn’t as terrible for me I just teared a little. It’ll probably be worse for people with sinus issues.

That’s all I can remember for now, will update if I remember anything else.

After the 14 days SHN we had 11 days to do whatever we want before we head back to Singapore. Yup, spent more days in the hotel that actually be back Singapore, welp. Anyway, you bet I made the fullest use of it LOL. In the 11 days, I finished the government issued Singapore Re-discovery Voucher and went to USS, Sanrio Characters Island Lights, Gardens By The Bay, and Zoo (in pouring rain). HAHAH. Had a lot of fun and met most of my friends that I wanted to meet. It was a tiny blessing amongst all the chaos of 2020. Will spare you the details of a Singaporean touring Singapore.

OH AND I GOT TO WATCH 2 MOVIES IN THE THEATRE!!

Got to experience the trace together app, and having to ‘check-in’ everywhere and making detours to the monitored entries and exits, even though social distance were hardly practiced. Quite an experience I should say, to see how the entire country adapted to a pandemic, and how we successfully keep it under control proving that it is very possible if people cooperate. (Can’t say the same for every country) Also not forgetting the sacrifices and hard working-ness of the front liners and delivery persons that allowed the rest of the population to rest easy which I feel is very commemorable.

On the 2nd of January, we took the first flight back to United States > Narita > San Fran > Boise.

Even though we took the pre-departure Covid test, no one from any side of the immigration requested for our Covid results. Japan not asking for it is kinda understandable since we are just passing, Singapore too since we are leaving the country. I’ve tried not to ask what U.S. is doing since Trump. No state required quarantine for Idaho too. So here we are, back in our U.S. home and trying to unpack as much as we can and slip into our normal routine before December 2020. Time to get my shit together for a final sprint for my final year here.

See you next post.

P.S. Omg why is Covid not gone yet. 2020 gotta be the worst year ever for me. Can’t wait for this thing to be over and people can live their lives.

There’s no place like home.

It feels surreal to be back in Singapore after 2 years. Everything looks and feels the same, the people are the same, the roads are the same, the shops are the same.
What truly feels weirdest of all is I can’t remember much or feel much of the 2 years in United States. Maybe I have not yet tried to recall too much, maybe I’m still taking in the fact I’m in Singapore right now, or maybe there’s just nothing there I feel attached to.

SOAS-UOL Distance Learning

SOAS-UOL

Before I started my Masters I searched high and low for more information about this school and the programmes it provides, but I just can’t find anything! So here I am, sharing about SOAS-UOL MSc programme distant learning, hoping it’ll help some clueless soul in the future. I’ll like as much information as possible if I’m gonna fork out so much money to self torture.

Favourite part of the start of school year has always been getting new school books.

For the curious souls, this is what I’m studying right now. This programme requires me to complete 2 core modules and 4 electives, so 6 modules in total. I can also choose to take up dissertation I’ll have to use one module for it and another modules for ‘Research Methods’. That means I’ll have to give up 2 modules on new learnings, no thanks, plus, too much work really.

Assessments

SOAS-UOL Distance Learning assesses us through 2 methods. Each module will consist of 2 assignments with combined weightage of 30%, and one 3 hours written paper (70%) in September-October, we can take the papers at a local exam centre.
For those who know me, I studied in SIM-UOL which they have 100% weightage on their May examination which was SUPER stressful. Failing by 1 even 1 mark means you’ll have to retake another year. There however is a pro for 100% examinations, what I used to do was skip all the class and assignments (since no marks) and just study like made when exams are near. I still graduated on time, but highly not recommended.
So now SOAS-UOL requires assignments to be submitted and graded every 4 weeks into the module, which also means, not being on track of studies gives me a HUGE disadvantaged. I started my assignment 1 seven days before the due date, and I scored 58/100 while my classmates (at least the ones I know) got 70. Lol. I’m 15 days away for my assignment 2 due date, but here I am, blogging.

Readings

AKA things I have to study/read for the modules. I am currently only 1 module into the course. 1 module of SIM-UOL BSc Business Management was about level 40/100 (personal opinion) of things that need to read, SOAS-UOL MSc International Business Administration is about 75-80/100.

THERE’S HELLA LOTS OF THING TO FRIGGIN READ FOR JUST ONE MOD WTF.

1 Module of MSc is like 4 freaking modules of Uni. I’m nearing the end of my first module and I’ve only completed 20% of what I’m REQUIRED to read and understanding not adding those extra good to know stuff. Ded.
It’s definitely a lot more intensive than I imagined, I thought it would be similar to my university, it is, but there’s really a lot more compulsory readings. A few of my classmates are working and doing this course, so working and studying is definitely possible. You just really need very good time management. Which I completely lacks, wish me good luck.

Price

1 Module is £1680, which translates to around S$3000. I need to complete 6 modules in total. S$3000*6=S$1800. Which includes all the reading materials and assessment fees, but excludes local exam centre fees (dependable on exam centre). No accounting inflation, exchange rates fluctuation yaadaa daa. YES. It’s very cheap for a Masters. Plus SOAS is under UOL which is NOT totally not recognised in Singapore. Worth it or not you decide. For me, it’s best of all world, the modules they provide, distant learning + written exams, qualification and experience they need.
Many MSc require at least a few year or relevant working experiences or a first class/ second class upper degree which I both lack.
Sometimes I think about how each module can buy me a new Macbook and I die a little inside.

Overall

Overall it really helps me to kill time (A LOT of it) here while on WX’s 3 years deployment. I can finish the course in 2 years based on their maximum 4 modules per year limit. It helps me satisfy my hunger for knowledge and there’s really no losing in learning new things.

That’s about it, my next module will start in April. See you next post!

Romance Drama

I don’t, or hardly cry over Romance drama/movies.
Not that they don’t touch me, but .. it’s over ‘glorified’.
I know the male lead and female lead went through a lot a lot to be together.
The whole world tried to break them up!

I know, but that’s not the most difficult thing one can experience in life.
It’s pretty tough to be separated from your loved ones, but there’s so much more in life than male/female relationships.
There are so much more happening in other’s life that’s 1000 times harder and note worthy.
The foreign domestic worker that leaf her family to work in a foreign land so she can provide her children with the most basics of clothing and stationeries. A young man doing his best against his unfortunate background work against all odds to his dreams. All these stories of hardship and hardwork or more moving (to me) than 2 people with Korean names crying over love.

2014

HELLO ALL.

It’s been long long long.
Thought of doing a blog post for 2014 quite some times
but I’ve been out like everyday.

Living the life. Yo.

I really wanna make a summary (kinda?) of this year
because this year, I saw the most growth in myself.
Like seriously a lot from my view, though it might not
be obvious for others.

How do I start ..?

Maybe I should give a review on my year ! 2014.
Yup that’s what I’ll do .. Let’s see ..

2014. 

In general it was great.
Awesome it fact.
For those who knows, I’m no longer that involved in NPCC.
Which frees out so so much time.
Giving me more than enough to think, and over think.
A lot more time for friends and do a little soul searching.
I kinda found myself ,I think? *holy musics*
I think it’s true that one has to be lost in their way
so that they can truly find the right path/destination they want.
If you ask me what do I mean by finding myself, I have to say…
I’m not sure.
I just don’t feel so “lost” and “blinded” anymore.
I know what I want, more importantly I know what I DO NOT want.
From examples of shits I see and all.
For maybe the first time, I can smile to myself and be in peace with
myself some times.
Some other times I still have some teenage girls confused moments,
but the occurrence reduced significantly and I can actually calm
myself down and think my way out.
Suddenly all the empowering quotes and advices I see online and get
from friends makes complete sense.
( When I was young I would just brush what people tell me off
“becuz dhey juz dunn unstd miie”)
I think this is good news and a clear sign of growing up, of maturing.
THOUGHTS, people not physically, I look as young as I can be, gosh.

Thinking.
You have no idea what goes through my mind.
I think it’s something normal human beings cannot comprehend and I do
spend time wishing suspecting I’m from another planet.
I mean I think way too much. About a lot of stuff.
What I mean is not thinking in the 12 YO girls way like:
” WHY DO THEY HATE ME ? WHY ?!”
” WHY DOESN’T HE LOVE ME NO MORE WHY ?!”
” WHY I JUST CAN’T DO IT I SUCK.”
” IF I DIE NO ONE WOULD CARE.”

Oh guanyinma no.
Let’s have a look what goes through my mind on a daily routine:
” Why are some Americans so racist ?! (Note to self, SOME not all)
Is it because of their culture? They have a very laid back culture
what are the ways it affect the current racial culture? Or is it their
religion? They are mostly Christians which is dominant and originated
in none multiracial regions, it that why? But Christianity preaches peace.”
OR
” Why are there so many similar occurrence and documentaries
through out different cultures and religion? Like the great flood and it’s
survivors?
It appeared in Greek Mythology, Buddhism, Christianity , et cetera.
Why ? Did it really happen? Or they originated from the same source?
Which probably did, if it did, then what is it ?”
OR
” Everything HAS a reason. A cause then effect thing. Everything I did
leads to this exact moment of me sitting here typing these, is it destined?
Or the future is an unknown? Is this the destined path I ought to take?
(This is what I tell myself when I have bubbling thoughts of regrets,
more on that later.)”
OR
“Everyone is
born a pure piece of paper. What they go through leaves marks and folds.
Many a times they can’t control what is written on then or how they are
folded. They might be taught what they did is right, or maybe the hideous thing
they did might be effect of mental stress built up. Or maybe that is the only
way they know how to express an emotion. Plus how one person behave
can be affected by so so many factors like:
– Religion.
– Family.
– Education.
– Environment.
– Country regiment.
– Health.
And on and on.

So how can we truly blame someone? “

Some thing like that and a lot more other stuff about religion, politics, histories,
environment, the origins, true meaning of life, supernatural stuff and guys.
 
I also do research on these topics.
So sometime I love to rant about all these and bore my friends to death.
I’ve become pretty analytical, I break down information and even EMOTIONS
into tiny bit and digest it. Knowing the other factors make me understand
the subject more thoroughly.
How I wish I can meet someone who is actually interested and we can share our
knowledge.

Yes, knowledge is my new found passion.
I love love love knowing know stuff, how things works, how things come about.
Though I forgot about them more often than not after researching about it. D:
I might have went a little far on these stuff that no one cares about but I truly
believe that people ought to know more about this gigantic wonderful mess we
live in. The awes and wonders of life of science of people of the universe and
realities (; ?
How can people not wonder ?

All these learning and thinking made me more empathetic, sympathetic,
compassionate. (All self declare one) And a whole lot more understanding.
My mind clears out so much as I decide to be more forgiving and understanding
and you know what? That’s how I feel more at peace.
That and I really believe in Karma and that one should give because that’s what
we should do but never expect because people don’t owe you even if you helped.
[Nope, I’m not a Buddhist, I’m actually a free thinker. Maybe more on that next time.]
Do that now ? Never mind, I forgive (for real) for Karma might strike you one
day if you keep doing that. What goes around, comes around.
Help you ? Sure ! Because that will make you happy and people about me being happy
makes me happy. Return the favor ? Nah it’s fine. Help me back only if you want to,
not when you have to.

Talking about happiness.
I think I am a happier person this year, 2014.
How can I know after learning and understanding so much.
I put a lot things down, let by gone be by gone.
I abandoned the concept of regretting.
I no longer believe in regretting.
Firstly because I believe that EVERYTHING happens for a reason.
To rid of someone that is toxic, to teach you a lesson, to push you forward.
Things don’t happen to you, they happen FOR you.
When I understood this, that is when I understood there is no point in
regretting. Big or small. What is important is don’t let the incident or
consequence go to waste. Learn whatever you can from it and move forward.
And never make that same mistake again.
If you can’t do that then at least try not to think backwards but instead, forward.
Dwelling in the past can be very very draining and harmful.

Crap I’ve lost my train of thoughts.

Being direct.
Too direct sometimes?
It is an Aquarius trait. I wasn’t this bad until later this year.
I used to be very nice and easy on my words, I use to deny this trait when I read
Horoscope when I was a younger me.
I can deny it no more.
If I have to explain why or what caused my increased directness I would say:
– My amazingly high level of ‘don’t-give-a-fk”-ness &
– My laziness.
I’m just too lazy to sugar coat it or beat around the bush all the time.
You have no idea how much easier lives are with directness. Weeeee.

Friends.
Honestly, I can’t make this far without my amazing and annoying as hell friends.
I love them (‘: I don’t usually say such mushy stuff and actually mean it.
They made the seemingly tough hell road so much more fun and enjoyable.
I don’t feel that alone anymore.
This year I spent time with my many different friends and I’m so happy
I have them. I’ll let the pictures so the talking ?

2015 will be better (:

My leg hurts

I used to think and question myself. 

Is it really necessary for the old to pass down knowledge and experience to the young ? 
Experiences especially.
Isn’t it better for us to experience and learn ourselves? Moreover, when did we 
ever listened to things that we don’t believe in ? Let us fall and learn by ourselves, isn’t it a better way for us to remember and understand the lesson ? 
Then one fine day while I was showering 
( I guess ) , a thought struck me. 
I realized the old sharing experiences and knowledge with us is necessary. It prevented us from going astray , it taught us things in an instance they took years to understand, it helped us that we don’t have to start from sketch for everything we plan. Probably, most importantly to stop us from falling unnecessarily and give us a head start so we can venture into greater hides, discover greater things and finding more beautiful places. 
Taaaadaaaa ! Ok bye.