Archive for the 'Hello, Singapore!' Category

Singapore: the sun, the beach and the jellyfish! – Part 4

Loving Singapore!

Very soon after reaching Taur’s place, I told him, “Taur, 我不客气了,我要KO了!” I slept like a log and woke up around 5pm to get ready for the scheduled dinner together. It’s so sweet for Taur to google for me the remedy for jellyfish sting while I was asleep. He gave me some vinegar to apply on the wound and this did alleviate the pricking pain.

I had an unlooked-for birthday celebration at dinner place! Thanks, buddies!!! ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ (one  for each one of you! Haha!)

It's a wise move to put only 1 candle. Hehehe :p

It’s a wise move to put only 1 candle. Hehehe :p

Post-dinner, we headed over to the Esplanade. I’ll let the photos tell the story of what happened after that 🙂

There's "Hokkien Ryhymes" display at the Esplanade station

There’s “Hokkien Ryhymes” display at the Esplanade tunnel

the 2 of us=epitome of Sui Sui Buay Zhau Zui? :p

the 2 of us=epitome of Sui Sui Buay Zhau Zui? :p

Seo seo tio beh pio!

Seo seo tio beh pio!

Woon woon jia bee hoon

Woon woon jia bee hoon

The last time I visited the tunnel in Aug 2012, it was displaying some cardboard arts.

IMG_0617

IMG_0618

IMG_0619

These visual arts always fascinate me. It just feels good for me to marvel at the creative/innovative ideas. I like how Esplanade puts in effort to spice up the passage! 🙂

More pleasant surprises at the Esplanade: 3D painting

More pleasant surprises at the Esplanade: 3D art

Another 3D art

Another 3D art

at the DIY headband workshop: perpetuation of war between jellyfish and I!!!

at the DIY headband workshop: perpetuation of war between jellyfish and I!!!
Friends gave me their colorful wires so that I could have more tentacles! :p

Views from Esplanade Roof Terrace.  I was impressed that Samsung S3 captured night scene photo with such a good quality!

Views from Esplanade Roof Terrace.
I was impressed that Samsung S3 captured night scene photo with such a good quality!

A labyrinth!

A labyrinth!

A riddle that all 5 of us had no clue at all: There's a hidden golden lock in the labyrinth. If you look through it you'll see a clef. Which clef?

A riddle that all 5 of us had no clue at all: There’s a hidden golden lock in the labyrinth. If you look through it you’ll see a clef. Which clef?

First of all, we did not understand the meaning of clef. Then after a kid revealed the answer to us, we had to still look in dictionary...

First of all, we did not understand the meaning of clef. Then after a kid revealed the answer to us, we had to still look in dictionary…

Riddle: you can feel me, but cannot hold me; hear me but cannot see me; run from me but cannot escape me. I got this one right! *proud*

Riddle: you can feel me, but cannot hold me; hear me but cannot see me; run from me but cannot escape me.
I got this one right! *proud*

Out of the maze, it's our turn to be creative ..... in terms of posing :p

Out of the maze, it’s our turn to be creative ….. in terms of posing :p

Shampoo commercial! :p

Shampoo commercial! :p

Merlion looked very "obedient" from the back! :D

Merlion looked very “tame” from the back! 😀

Singapore, bye for now, I will come again in July! 🙂

PS: friends who whine about SG not nice and boring blah blah blah, learn to like it, else leave it, and enjoy all the little things! (Note to self as well!)

Part 1: before the tripPart 2: taking train | Part 3: the sun and the beach! (a) (b)|

Singapore: the sun, the beach and the jellyfish! – Part 3 (b)

Jellyfish’s waiting…

First view of the compound of the windsurfing centre

First view of the compound of the sailing school

The wind wasn't that constant actually :p

The wind wasn’t that constant actually :p

Our 3-hour windsurfing course began with the theory lesson, which was to cram our brains with all the windsurfing jargons. It was then followed by the simulation: to reinforce and to put what we had just learned to practice. I just couldn’t remember the nuances of sailing forward, backward, into the wind and away from the wind… I should have read this website beforehand since I am a slow learner of skills! After the water-confidence session, it’s show time! 🙂

the diligent students

the diligent students

Hi! I am Max, your instructor of the day!

Hi! I am Max, your instructor of the day!

Theory! Theory! Theory!

Theory! Theory! Theory!

Simulation! Simulation! Simulation!

Simulation! Simulation! Simulation!

All smiles before going into the sea

All smiles before going into the sea

Water confidence:- Max: everyone, show me your toes!

Water confidence:-
Max: everyone, show me your toes!

Actually, I did not need to go onto the sailboard and out in the sea to tell that I will suck at windsurfing because it involves a great deal of balancing skill and motor coordination! :p

This is too cool to for me! One day, one day! Haha

This is too cool for me! One day, one day! Haha

6 of us were sent as first batch out into the sea. Getting myself into the secure position was more challenging and tiring than I expected! I was always out of balance and either falling into the water forward or backward! Getting myself back up onto the sailboard was tiring too! Max, the instructor was too busy powerboat-ing around and I did not get to have his further guidance. We were all basically on our own learning after being sent out to the sea.

After I-forgot-how-many-falls, the momentum of my fall was too great and even the sailboard overturned! *shy* Almost at the same time I fell into the water, I felt something was wrapping around my left thigh and I felt numbness and tingling sensation growing along my left leg. I tried to look under the water surface and I saw the culprit, a jellyfish!!! I did not know what to do seriously and my sailboard overturned, remember? So I can’t get myself out of the water to prevent further sting! I just kept treading water with my feet in the attempt to free my thigh off the tentacles. By doing so, I think I accidentally kicked the slimy “head” of the jellyfish and it then left me alone! Haha!

I shouted, “Sue, I got stung by jellyfish!!! How?!”

Sue: are you feeling anything abnormal?

Me: the pain is bearable…

Sue: then it’s ok!

Oh! It is that simple? I actually worried that more jellyfish will come attack me because I still remained in the water but I had to patiently wait for Max to deliver those from second batch to their sailboards and to help me turn my board back up again! I manja to Max when he finally came to my rescue, “Max, I got stung by jellyfish, will I die?”

Max: You won’t! Just be yourself!

:p

So, while bearing with the pricking pain, I continued my “get onto the board-try to get into secure position but fail and fall-get back up again” routine. Until one point when my body thought I had enough falls already that I miraculously stood stably on the board and in my secure position and I started sailing! I actually couldn’t tell where was the wind coming from and how to better steer my sail but heck, as long as I fared! :p When I managed to sail, my mind kept replaying a German statement that I learned many years back:

“Es fährt sehr gut!” 😉

Because I only could sail without having proper control of the direction, I almost reached the breakwater and one of the yellow columns (our limit of sailing). I sent out an SOS signal in Max’s direction i.e. waving my hands up in the air and he towed my sail and brought me using his powerboat to somewhere in between the 2 yellow poles and I got to sail again. It actually feels really good to sail, like 乘风破浪!

2 hours elapsed since we were sent out to the sea and it’s the end of our windsurfing. Powerboats sent us back on shore. Once ashore, I got to know that CCY also got stung. The interesting question now was: what’s the remedy to the sting?

Information from the internet stated that (I am only researching while writing this post):-

For other jellyfish stings, soak or rinse the area in vinegar (acetic acid) for 15-30 minutes to stop the nematocysts from releasing their toxins. If you do not have vinegar available, rinse in sea water,70% isopropyl alcohol, or Safe Sea Jellyfish After Sting® pain relief gel. Do not use fresh water. Fresh water will cause the nematocysts to continue to release their toxin. For the same reason, do not rub the area, apply ice or hot water. 

Vinegar (3–10% aqueous acetic acid) may be used as a common remedy to help with box jellyfish stings, but not the stings of the Portuguese Man o’ War (which is not a true jellyfish, but a colony). …. Salt water may be used as an alternative if vinegar is unavailable, and may be preferred over vinegar. Fresh water is not usually used if the sting occurs in salt water, as changes intonicity can release additional venom. Rubbing wounds, or using alcohol, spirits, ammonia, or urine may have strongly negative effects as these can encourage the release of venom.

Opps…. After coming ashore, I rinsed my wound with fresh water, sprayed something provided by the staff of the surfing centre, took a hot shower and only applied vinegar 7 hours after the sting… But luckily Taur did not really pee on my wound! :p

the aftermath

the aftermath

Before going into the sea, I kept reciting Sue’s jellyfish encounter and even joked about having Taur to pee on the wound if anyone is so unlucky to get the sting. Friends said this is “law of attraction”, like I summoned the jellyfish… Max also said it’s very rare that people got stung at that side of the sea… Oh well…

The pricking pain persisted until the next morning! Jellyfish, welcome on board after leeches to be another creature that I loathe! The good thing is: I can’t really eat leeches to revenge but I can eat you and the look-alike of you (i.e. those with tentacles)!!!*evil laughter*

We went home and rest respectively after the course and scheduled to have dinner together around 6pm.

Part 1: before the tripPart 2: taking train | Part 3: the sun and the beach! (a) | Part 4: ♥-ing SG!

Singapore: the sun, the beach and the jellyfish! – Part 3 (a)

BBQ + camping = hot! :p

I wasn’t feeling well even before the train ride: my tonsillitis recurred and was feeling feverish 😥 I slept like a log throughout the journey. After reaching Woodlands CIQ around 6.35am, I made my way to Tiong Bahru to meet up with Shirely. We headed to East Cost Park around 3pm: took MRT to Tanah Merah and hailed a cab to Area G’s car park.

En route to Tanah Merah

En route to Tanah Merah

Here we are!

Here we are!

En route to the car park, we were thinking: Area G seems to be too secluded, will our safety be compromised? After turning a corner, we were quite surprised to see how happening the seaside was. Found our BBQ pit #77 and started to pitch our tents for the night.

Happening, right? Ok, we are under-prepared...

Happening, right?
Ok, we are under-prepared…

Our backyard :p

Our backyard :p

Claim your territory!

Claim your territory!

The general rules that we adhered to when choosing a place to set up the tents:-

  1. Shady place: Sue kept saying she wanted to take a nap before the BBQ
  2. A non-water-logging place
  3. Some distances away from the coconut trees
  4. Some distances away from the BBQ pits to avoid trapping oil fumes in the tents
  5. Leaving some privacy for the couple (Hahahaha!)
Falling coconut!!! You have to avoid this

Falling coconut!!! You have to avoid this :p

Done pitching!

Done pitching!

It was a long wait for the caterer to deliver our BBQ package. We got a little bored and started guessing about the airline of the next plane flying across! :p Thank god that it didn’t rain as was predicted by the weather forecast because we did not prepare ourselves for that at all. Our contingency plan was to pan fry our BBQ ingredients at Taur’s place :p The BBQ went well and we gorged ourselves! Yi, another Endeavour and Unimelb alumna joined in the fun.

We want our BBQ food...

We want our BBQ food…

The food is here! The food is here!

The food is here! The food is here!

Hehe!

Hehe!

Please don't mess with this gal! Not only is she a TaekwonDo black belt holder, she likes to play with knife! Hahaha

Please don’t mess with this gal! Not only is she a TaekwonDo black belt holder, she likes to play with knife! Hahaha

A loud applause for the man of the trip! He did all the rough jobs for the ladies!

A loud applause for the man of the trip! He did all the rough jobs for the ladies!

Ah Ball biked and visited us at the park around 11pm -_________-‘’’ when I was already exhausted from the travelling, playing around and my battling with my tonsillitis bacteria. Sue reprimanded, “Your friend came all the way to see you and you are going to sleep?!” Sorry Ball, I was sick and tired…

To Ah Ball: I'm not going to come out of my tent!

To Ah Ball: I’m not going to come out of my tent!

I learnt one important lesson after this camping trip: if you need proper rest and your neighboring campers consist of kids mainly, SHIFT YOUR CAMPSITE! The chances are: the kids will be filled with such effervescence  and enjoy the night to the maximum without going to sleep at all, making hell lots of noises!

Kids = monsters!

Kids = monsters!

Our backyard at night

Our backyard at night

I am always a shallow sleeper and am very sensitive to lights and sounds. I woke up around 1.30am, annoyed and told the kids, “Adik, boleh senyap sedikit tak? Tak boleh nak tidur ni!” I was actually directing this complaint to their parents in the hope that they will control their kids a bit. No improvement at all after that… Boo…

“Shhhhhh!!!” I tried to hush them from inside the tent, but I only heard mild scolding from the parents, “Senyap…” which was not intimidating at all! If I were to go on a camping trip with my dad when I was still a kid, and I were to still make noise after being complained, trust me, I’d be really miserable after that. I grumbled to Sue who was sharing the tent with me, “Why wouldn’t the kids go to sleep?” Sue said, “It’s inevitable. You know, for kids, camping is fun and you are playing with all your cousins!”

Besides, Area G is not an ideal place if you are planning for a quiet and peaceful day out due to its close proximity to Changi Airport.

A=our campsite B=windsurfing centre

A=our campsite
B=windsurfing centre

Taur said, “Today is the day that I see the most airplanes!”

Yi said, “When I first reached the park, seeing the airplanes flying so low was exciting. Now it’s too much!”

IMG_0949

“Shhhhhh!!!” I heard Taur hushing one airplane which was flying across. Haha!

4.30pm...

5.04pm…

5.12pm...

5.12pm…

5.21pm.... busy airport...

5.21pm…. busy airport…

Seeing the most airplanes in a day!

Seeing the most airplanes in a day!

The night was simply too hot and there wasn’t much breeze. We slept leaving all the windows of our tents open, inclusive of the top ones. Around 5.30am, the rain came! Taur and I hastened to cover the top windows with rain covers!

All of us woke up around 7am, cleaned ourselves and changed into our windsurfing attires, dissembled our tents, took breakfast and we walked to the Changi Coast Walk which was around 2km away lugging all our camping gears.

Breakfast time!

Breakfast time!

A 2km walk

A 2km walk

Part 1: before the trip | Part 2: taking train | Part 3: the sun and the beach! (b)| Part 4: -ing SG!

Singapore: the sun, the beach and the jellyfish! – Part 2

First time travelling to Singaland via train!

Travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore, modes of transport I took before was buses and airplanes. This time, since I wanted to sleep comfortably throughout the journey at night and reach only in the morning, I opted for train for my journey to and coach for my journey back from Singapore. Both modes took longer hours if compared to flight, of course, but I wanted to recharge and did not want to feel sluggish and tired upon arrival, kuat main punya pasal!

It was my negligence to purchase the train ticket only a month in advance, naively assuming that train would not be such a popular choice. It ended up that all 2nd class sleepers were sold out and I was forced to give myself a splurge with first class deluxe sleeper. So, if you are travelling on a public holiday, make sure you plan ahead and buy your train ticket as soon as possible to avoid disappointment or spending extra.

I bought the ticket for upper berth but I got to have the whole cabin by myself! A pleasant surprise!

The corridor outside of my cabin

Presenting the premier night deluxe sleeper cabin!

Presenting the premier night deluxe sleeper cabin!

The comparison between upper and lower berths:-

  • Upper berth is cheaper but narrower and does not have window view.
  • For light-sensitive people like me, I would advise to go for lower berth to ensure a good night sleep. Besides the light is radiating considerable amount of heat to the upper berth when it’s switched on, it could be quite uncomfortable.

Upper berth and the light

The compartment to put your baggage and a TV, which wasn’t working

Complimentary toiletries and a bottle of mineral water. The attendant will collect the towel back before reaching JB

Complimentary toiletries and a bottle of mineral water. The attendant will collect the towel back before reaching JB

Included in the fare is a simple packed meal. The choices are nasi lemak, fried rice or fried meehoon

Included in the fare is a simple packed meal. The choices are nasi lemak, fried rice or fried meehoon. This nasi lemak was nice! I like the sambal!

JB CIQ officials at your doorstep! Unlike taking bus we do not have to personally alight from the train, enter the CIQ and board the train again 🙂

**********

Please skip this part if you do not want to read about my lecturing :p

Someone criticized/queried my choice of taking bus back as well as visiting Singaland a bit too frequent, quoting, “Do you know flight tickets are very cheap now?” and “Do you know SG currency is very high? Why don’t travel further?” I knew he meant good, but what I did not tell him was that, in the endeavor of making a more balanced decision (for myself! Different people have different priority), we should not look at cost alone! Instead we should look at both cost and benefits! Benefits like more hassle-free to be picked up and dropped off, the TOTAL hours took from the moment you set off to the point of pick up to the time you reach home, the companionship, etc.

I did my cost-benefit analysis!

I did my cost-benefit analysis!

**********

Part 1: before the trip | Part 3: the sun and the beach! (a), (b) | Part 4: -ing SG!

Singapore: the sun, the beach and the jellyfish! – Part 1

The hatching of plan

Sometime in January, I felt the insurmountable yearning for a camping trip at the seaside (I hate leeches in the tropical jungles!). I tried to organize one in Penang but in vain. Colleagues quoted, “Why can’t we just sleep in the chalet?” SG declined, “I’m really not keen.” Boo… Besides, it is a saddening fact that Bolehland is no longer safe to go and camp anywhere and anytime we feel like to.

I manja to Shirely about my camping desire and she straight away said yes to the plan! But it had to be a delayed gratification though: after Chinese New Year, the next long weekend available would be in May and it would be at East Coast Park, Singapore! I then approached another favorite partner of crime of mine, Sue. Not only did she agree to camp with me, she also suggested taking up windsurfing course at Changi Coast Walk! Hooray! From there, we mustered more and more people to join the trip.

The preparation

One can camp in the 5 parks and Pulau Ubin in Singapore. We chose Area G over Area D of East Coast Park since it’s close to our windsurfing centre and we expected it to be less popular so that we stood better chance in securing our BBQ pit and camping permit on a public holiday! (Haha! In Singapore, you have to be kiasu!)

After doing some mock-camping permit internet application, we found out that one could start applying for the permit approximately 2 months before the scheduled date of camping (to be exact, on June 1st, one could apply for permit to camp from 9am on July 30th to 9am the following day. We intended to camp on start date=May 24th and end date=May 25th, so we could start applying for permit on March 26th). One problem surfaced though: the permit application requires one to enter IC number or FIN which means one needs to have permanent residence or a long-term visa for Singapore!

I decided to drop an enquiry email to National Parks of Singapore, asking if foreigners are allowed to do camping in Singapore. I have to like the efficiency of Singapore government for I received replies on the next day stating that “Overseas visitors are still permitted to camp in the parks, however we’ll just need to approve it manually”. I received my permit on the same day that I furnished the required details and documentation via email, epitome of efficiency!

Next, I went on to scout for my tent. The price variation was too much and all the specifications looked almost identical to me… I was too busy and too lazy to research online on how to choose the better tents, I just knew I only needed a 2P tent for the time being and I wanted my tent to be as light as possible to reduce lugging effort. I was also hoping that I could get a pink one! So how to choose? I decided to go with my zombie belief that famous/branded manufacturers like Coleman =a guarantee of product of decent quality.

Eenie meenie miney mo! Which one to choose?

Eenie meenie miney mo! Which one to choose?

HIppo: Good tent! Good tent!

Trial set up at home.
Hippo: Good tent! Good tent!

Part 2: taking train | Part 3: the sun and the beach! (a), (b) | Part 4: -ing SG!


I spot you, creativity!

Series #9 Light bulb reuse!

Reflection of the day

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 43 other followers

Inside the glass bottle…

“I want to walk tall, believe in myself, have the courage to ask for what I want and need, and live a life that mattered. I want to wake up in the morning with a smile on my face and know that I am loved and that I belonged. I am desperate to feel worthy and I am hungry for the opportunity to live my fullest potential.” - modified from "The Dark Side of the Light Chasers" - Debbie Ford

Under the apple tree…

"If you are not spending all of your waking life in discontent, worry, anxiety, depression, despair, or consumed by other negative states; if you are able to enjoy simple things like listening to the sound of the rain or the wind; if you can see the beauty of clouds moving across the sky or be alone at times without feeling lonely or needing the mental stimulus of entertainment; if you find yourself treating a complete stranger with heartfelt kindness without wanting anything from him or her... it means that a space has opened up, no matter how briefly, in the otherwise incessant stream of thinking that is the human mind." - A New Earth, by Eckhart Tolle

Blog Stats since Dec 2010

  • 52,068 hits

Ich lese….

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The time keeper by Mitch Albom

The art of thinking clearly by Rolf Dobelli

The first phone call from heaven by Mitch Albom

Inferno by Dan Brown

For one more day by Mitch Albom

A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez

A study in scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

The five people you meet in heaven by Mitch Albom

Have a little faith by Mitch Albom

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

To kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

The Brain that Changes Itself by Norman Doidge

Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren

A Fresh Start by John Chapman

Inspiring quotes!

If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If he prayed for courage, does God give him courage, or does he give him opportunities to be courageous? If someone prayed for the family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings, or does he give them opportunities to love each other? (God in "Evan Almighthy")
“To love another person is to see the face of God.” ― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain
Aggie: "But what about the people who hurt you? Don't you ever want to make them suffer?" Norman Babcock: "Well, yeah, but what good would that do? You think just because there's bad people that there's no good ones either? I thought the same thing for a while. But there's always someone out there for you. Somewhere." - Paranorman
"机遇总是偏爱有准备的人"
“You're only here for a short visit. Don't hurry, don't worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.” by Walter Hagen
Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, wine in the other, body thoroughly used up, body totally worn out and screaming "WOOOHOOOO what a ride!" - by anonymous
When you travel, it’s not like you take a part of each place away with you; rather, it’s as if you leave a part of yourself there, like a part of you forever belongs to that place – the time, the people, and the things you saw; and over time, it gets burned deeper into your soul - by anonymous