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Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Last Day of 2008

I did nothing. Absolutely NOTHING so far.

I was home the entire day. I was trying to read articles and do some writing. But I got depressed just looking at the amount of articles I have to read. My mood got better when I watched Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. :) When I saw the 5-inch thick stack of articles I still have to plough through, my mood darkened again. :(

Guess I will have to do work on the last day of 2008. Instead of partying into the new year, it is reading into the new year for me.

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Belated Christmas Party

The girls' pre-school had its Belated Christmas Party today. It was postponed from last Tuesday due to some unforeseen circumstances. The girls were thrilled to be in school in their party dresses. The Christmas Party was from 10am - 11:30am.

I attended the party because the girls were performing. I wanted to give them support. I was seated right in front for better photo opportunities lol. The girls were extremely happy to see me. I took several photos when they performed their songs. After the performances from the different classes, the graduating K2 class was asked to end the party by hitting the pinata. Marieann and her classmate together broke the pinata. :) Yes, that's my girl lol. The parents were invited to have some refreshment after the party. Some parents took their children home after the party. I let the girls remained in school so that they could play with their classmates a little longer, especially for Marieann as it would be her second last day in pre-school.


Juliane in the foreground and Marieann in the background getting ready to sing

Monday, 29 December 2008

A Sure Way to have Migraine

is to be in my office. SIGH.

As it is the end of the year and most colleagues are away clearing their leave, I thought it would be the quietest time to do some writing. I could never be more wrong! :(

At 9am sharp, the drilling started and it went on until lunch time and continued again after lunch. The drilling was like a machine gun at the back of your head, firing into your head consistently and persistently, "da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da". Even when I was having my lunch far from the office, I could still hear the drilling in my head and not to mention, the pounding headache the drilling gave me.

There was just no way I could do any writing, and reading was out too. I could only looked up and printed articles useful for my dissertation and reading the abstracts was all I could do in terms of reading. Around 4pm, I gave up. My headache was just getting worse.

I really hope they will finish the re-construction soon. I really don't want to go through the noise and suffer a headache every time I am in the office. :(

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Mother and Daughter Time

Here's a puzzle. See if you can solve it.

Two pairs of mother and daughter went to a restaurant. Why only 3 persons were charged?

Hahaha. Very easy, right?!! :P

After getting a few things from Isetan Scotts (yes, we were there again lol), we went to have lunch at Nanbantei Japanese Restaurant, Far East Plaza. My mother had a Grilled Eel bento set while Juliane and I shared the Obento set. We enjoyed our lunch very much. I seldom had the opportunity to have lunch outside with my mother because my mother prefers eating at home. We went home soon after lunch.

Oh by the way, you have guessed the correct answer to the puzzle, right? Only three persons were charged because the two pairs of mother and daughter's relationships are grandmother, mother and daughter. :)

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Comfort and Sympathies

On a rare occasion, my mother went out with us. We took a quick look around Isetan Scotts before going over to nydc Cafe, Wheelock Place for lunch.

We ordered a few dishes to share such as Mushroom Madness pizza ($14.95), Mushroom Attack Spaghetti ($14.50) and Spaghetti Aglio Olio ($14.50). The pizza was nice but the mushroom spaghetti was a tad spicy for the girls because of the pepper. I didn't try the other spaghetti as it was spicy. For dessert, the girls each had a scoop of ice cream ($3.80) while I had the Solid Gold ($10.50): a scoop of double chocolate ice cream with cheesecake. That is what I call comfort. :)




***
My good friend's grandmother passed away. I went to her wake at night. That was the least I could do for my friend. We chatted for a while and of all things, about work. :S Sigh. But I am glad to see that my friend seems to be holding up okay.

"May your memories bring you comfort and keep the one
you loved close to you
in spirit and in thought and always in your heart.
Extending my deep and heartfelt sympathy to you and
your family."

Friday, 26 December 2008

The Last Oracle - Rollins

I managed to get my hands on the latest Rollins book - The Last Oracle. It is one of the Sigma Force novels so you will have the regular characters such as Commander Gray Pierce, Director Painter Crowe, Kat Bryant, Dr Lisa Cummings, and Joe Kowalski who was from the last Sigma Force novel, The Judas Strain.

In this latest installment of the Sigma Force novel, there is no lack of fast-paced meld of action and intrigue taking Commander Pierce and his team from United States to India to Ukraine. There is also a parallel story happening in Russian Federation to a dear friend thought lost to all. The two stories finally converged at the end.

I really enjoyed reading this novel because there are elements of history (ancient Greek and modern history), learning disability, parapsychology, adventure, and mystery. All the things that I am very familiar with or have a deep interest in. :) I think this is the best novel among the Simga Force novels (then again, I might be bias because of my personal interests in this novel lol). Amidst the intense adventure and action, there are comic reliefs too, provided mainly by Kowalski. There may also be a new regular character in the next Sigma Force novel. :)

Go ahead, read the book since you only need 24 hours to finish it and there is another public holiday coming up. :)

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Merry Christmas, Peaceful Christmas

Merry Christmas to Everyone! :)

It is a peaceful Christmas for us. After a sumptuous (and heavy) Christmas Eve dinner, we decided to stay home to watch a boy and some snakes. Lol.

A boy = Hellboy 2.
Snakes = Anaconda 3: The Offspring.

We rented some DVDs to pass the time lol. Hellboy 2 is good, it's the second time I have seen it and I still laughed at the funny moments. I like Hellboy too. :) As for Anaconda 3, can skip it, folks. Although I enjoyed watching Anaconda 1 and 2, No. 3 was a total waste of time. :( I could have watched Iron Man instead. Yup, we rented the Iron Man DVD too. Sigh.

Anyway, I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. :)

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Tis the Day Before Christmas

It has been raining the whole day. I don't recall any Christmas Eve being so wet. But it was cool, felt almost right for Christmas lol.

We had our Christmas Eve dinner at 7pm, at One Ninety, Four Seasons Hotel. The girls were pretty thrilled. (Juliane actually remembered that she stayed here once but she was only 7 months old then!) It was set dinner menu where the main course was either turkey or lamb ($98++). All the adults chose the turkey. The girls had their own children's set dinner menu ($45++).

For starter, we first had Salmon and Fennel and Herb Jelly with Avruga Caviar, Rocket Salad and Lemon-infused Mustard Cream. I gave my salmon to my mother but I did eat a bit. It was quite nice but I am still not used to eating raw salmon. :P


Next, we had Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Truffle Ravioli. Yum! The soup was really sweet and the ravioli was really nice.


Pan-seared Foie Gras with Celeriac Puree was the next course. Absolutely delicious!!! Who cares if it is sinful?! Lol. :P


We had Pomegranate Sorbet (which was really refreshing and sweet) to prepare our palate for the next course, Roasted Turkey with Sauteed Vegetables, Chestnut Stuffing and Giblet Gravy. I always love the traditional Christmas turkey with chestnut stuffing and cranberry sauce. :)



For dessert, we had Warm Old-fashioned Christmas Pudding with Berries, Brandy Sauce and Vanilla Ice cream. I thought the pudding was too sweet for my liking, it tasted like fruit cake which wasn't really my kind of dessert. But the ice cream I like lol.


The girls had Tomato Soup with Cheddar Cheese Croutons, Roasted Turkey with Green Beans, Crushed Potatoes, Cornbread Stuffing, Herb Gravy and Cranberry Sauce (no photo of it as it is the same as the adults') and finally, Chocolate Log Cake with Fresh Berries Compote and Vanilla Ice cream.



During dinner, there was caroling at the lobby, just outside the restaurant, which was a novelty to the girls. They totally enjoyed the experience.




After dinner, we took a ride down Orchard Road to look at the lights and we also passed by the Christmas house in our neighbourhood. The owner decorates his home every Christmas! It has actually become quite an attraction every Christmas and his house never fails to wow passer-bys with all the Christmas lights and decorations. :)

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Iljimae - Korean Drama

I am now watching Iljimae, a Korean period drama, on U channel at 10pm weekdays. It's the only other Korean drama that I am following faithfully since Goong in 2006 lol. It is not a bad show for a weekday night - drama, comical moments, mystery and romance (soon, I think).

There is this song that is sometimes being played in the show. I am attracted to it because of the instruments accompanying the entire song (the main ones are piano and violin, I think). The instruments made the song really haunting and sentimental. :P When I first heard the song, it really made me sad. It still does. When I saw the lyrics, I understood why. Sigh.


Monday, 22 December 2008

Surprise!!!

Today, we gave our good friend and colleague a surprise. It was to celebrate his birthday in advance.



Saw our surprise to him?! :) 41 cans of Coke Light!!! :) You see, our friend loves Coke Light hahaha. It was pretty fun building the Coke Light tree. But the timing for building the "tree" had to be coordinated carefully because we had to make sure our friend was around but he had to be away long enough while we built the "tree". I was in charge of intel lol. I was digging information discreetly from our friend as to when he was around and when his meetings were. I must have done a pretty good job because he didn't suspect anything at all. :) If I may say, Scorpios really make good spies hahaha. :P

HAPPY BIRTHDAY (in advance) Dennis. Hope all your wishes come true for you. :)

PS Oh by the way, we were only in charge of building the "tree" on our friend's desk. If our friend needs to do work, he will have to clear the "tree" himself. But we bet he will probably clear the "tree" within 40 days or less by drinking at least a can of Coke Light a day. Hahaha. :P

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Bolt

Bolt 3D is awesome lol. I was very tickled by the 3D effect lol. The movie is very funny too, especially Rhino the Hamster lol.

In short, Bolt is like The Truman Show where instead of Jim Carrey, it is Bolt the dog who lives his whole life on the set of his hit TV show and he is convinced that he is a super dog! That is until he is separated from his owner, Penny and the tv studio. There begins Bolt's journey of returning to Penny and at the same time, begins the journey of Bolt's self-discovery and acceptance of who he really is. Bolt is a heart-warming story that tells of loyalty, family and friendship, and not forgetting lots of hilarious moments. Bolt is great entertainment for everyone, both kids and adults! :)

Here's the main song "I thought I lost you" from Bolt.




There's also another song "Barking at the Moon" which is really catchy but I can't find it yet. Maybe later. I really like the music scores too in Bolt. Here's three scores from the soundtrack.

Winter Solstice, Bolt and Wake

***
Today is Winter Solstice or Dong Zhi. Juliane and I helped my mother to prepare the tang yuan or glutinous rice balls for cooking (Marieann was too engrossed with her computer game lol). My mother prepared both the sweet tang yuan (plain) as well as the savoury tang yuan (which had meat filling in it). We were all enjoying our first bowl of tang yuan by 10am. :)

***
After our dim sum lunch at East Ocean, my girls and I went to watch the 12:30pm Bolt 3D at Lido. More about the movie in another post. Lol.

***
I attended my lecturer's mother's wake in the late afternoon. Wakes are usually very solemn, grave, serious and some might also be quite depressing for the visitors as family members might be tearing and crying. So far, this is the only wake where I was really surprised because the family members quite cheerful. Yes, cheerful as in joking and smiling but definitely not being disrespectful. My lecturer explained that her late mother was a very happy person and she has told her children that they should be happy at her funeral when she passed on. So they are now obeying her last words. I see. Whatever it is, I still hope my lecturer will take it easy and take care.

***
Actually I quite like what my lecturer's mother has said. Next time for my funeral, I would want my family and friends to be happy too. They should celebrate that I have lived my life and not be upset because I am lost to death. :) Ok, ok, getting too morbid for some people lol. :P

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Last Minute Shopping

This is the last weekend to get Christmas stuff lol. There sure were A LOT of people at the malls. Juliane and I were window shopping at both Paragon and Centrepoint in the late morning.

After dinner, we went to Ikea because I needed to get some frames. Again, there were many people. The queues were really long at the cashiers. :( After that, we had desserts at Xin Wang Hong Kong Cafe, Anchorpoint. The girls shared a Mango Pomelo Cream while I tried the Triple Snow Ice. I thought the girls' dessert was much nicer, mine tasted kind of weird, the 3 favours (mango, strawberry and red bean) didn't really blend well together. :(

Friday, 19 December 2008

Why is there cake?

That's what my father asked when he saw the cake on the table after dinner.

My mother rolled her eyes and shook her head, "It's our 38th wedding anniversary!". "Huh? Is it? Aiyo, who bothers. Come, let's eat cake", said my father.
Sigh. I think my mother is pretty resigned but I think there was still a tiny shimmer of hope in her that my father might have remembered after she told him in the morning, "I have been married 38 years today".

Hang on, that was a pretty LOUD hint and my father didn't pick up on that. Oh gosh, who did he think my mother was married to?! SIGH. Lol.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Nature

Some photos I took...



Wednesday, 17 December 2008

PTM

Today, I attended my girls' Parent Teacher Meeting. It is the last PTM for the year. I am always a little anxious about PTM because I don't know if the teachers have any complaints to make lol.

Phew. Both girls have made improvements and their teachers are happy with their progress over the year. :) I can relax a little now until Marieann goes to Primary 1 in 2 weeks' time and until Juliane goes to Nursery 2 next Monday.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Christmas Drink

My responses in red. :)
You Are Hot Chocolate



Your holiday personality is generous.
The holidays are your favorite time to practice the art of giving.
Besides birthdays, now is the best time to give presents.

You enjoy picking out presents, sharing treats, and making everyone's day a little brighter.
Yes, I love picking out presents and giving presents. I especially love to see the look on their faces when they open their presents. :)

And you don't even notice if you don't get anything in return.
The looks and smiles on people's faces when they get their presents are enough for me. :)

Monday, 15 December 2008

Good Food, Great Company, Best News

That is exactly what I experienced today.

I had lunch with BR and a professor at Sakae Sushi. Ok, you must be thinking, aren't I sick of that already? Well, today I got to eat other stuff since there were 3 of us sharing. Boy, it was good. :P

The company was great. We were catching up with the prof over lunch (BR's farewell lunch actually lol) as he had been away for two weeks. Even though we were having lunch with a full prof , we were very relaxed and chit-chatting away. This prof is a really nice and sincere person. He doesn't put on airs and he treats us Research Associates very nicely. :) I really don't mind working for him if I have the chance. :)

I heard a piece of news today. It is something I have been praying for since June 2008. No, I haven't finished my dissertation yet lah. But soon I hope, haha. This piece of news is the best thing that I have heard. :) There were some people who were telling me otherwise but I held on fast to my faith. I always believe even in the midst of uncertainties and negativity.

The time of change is coming... soon... :)

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Perfect Day...

for sleeping, haha. It has been raining the whole day.

I just didn't feel like moving much. I was trying to read some articles but ended up falling asleep lol. :P Blame it on the weather. In the afternoon, I decided I have had enough of sleep and time to stretch my legs.

We went to Tiong Bahru Plaza to get school shoes for Marieann and I wanted to buy her some stationary from Popular. Unfortunately I forgot to bring my Popular card. I will have to get the stationary another day. Before going home, we had some desserts at the Basement - Milk Pudding, Mango Pudding, Almond Tea with Tang Yuan and Peanut Soup. I love the milk pudding I had, rich with the taste of milk and not very sweet. :)

Saturday, 13 December 2008

People, People Everywhere!

Juliane and I went to Paragon. She wanted to go to her "turn-turn" but I refused. She refused to talk to me and was sulking away when she followed me around at Marks & Spencer. Fine, if she wanted to sulk, go ahead. I wasn't going to coddle her. Finally, she broke her silence when we were at The Spoon Soup. She was hungry haha. We shared a set meal: Clam Chowder and Walfdorf salad.

After lunch, we walked over to Takashimaya where we did most of our Xmas shopping. I was really amazed to see so many people around. It was quite scary too as there seemed to be quite a number of people coughing around. Don't want to catch something... :(

After 2 hours, I decided we have had enough with the crowd. We waited close to 30 minutes before we got a cab home. Real glad to be home, away from the crowd. :)

Friday, 12 December 2008

DVD night

Yesterday after work, I went to Borders to buy DVDS since it was the last day for the 3 for 2 dvd/ vcd deal. I bought Kungfu Panda (for the girls), The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (for the girls and myself) and Transformers (for myself). I also bought 2 books by L. Hamilton. :)

After dinner, close to 7:30pm, we watched Prince Caspian. The girls were most excited to finally watch the sequel. They really liked the first one - Aslan, the centaurs, the griffins, the talking animals... :) I am surprised that they sat through the whole 150 minutes of Prince Caspian. :) We didn't finish the movie until 10pm which was way past the girls' bedtime! I think everyone enjoyed Prince Caspian, including my parents lol. I love the music scores in the movie. Maybe I will get the sound track.

After the girls have gone to bed, I watched Transformers on my notebook lol. Already told you, it is DVD night. A pity, I am missing the popcorn. :P

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Farewell, Bai Rui

Today, there were two parties. One was the year-end bash for our research centre and the other was the farewell party for Bai Rui, one of the funniest persons I have ever met and a very dear friend.

Year-end Bash
The bash started with buffet lunch. It looked good but as I had a heavy breakfast, I couldn't eat much. :( There were games after lunch, followed by a lucky draw. I didn't take any photos as there were colleagues with better photographic skills and cameras taking the photos. :P I will upload the photos after I get the photos from them. :)

Bai Rui's Farewell
His farewell started just after 1pm. There were about 15 of us gathered in the meeting room for Bai Rui's farewell party. :) Bai Rui found out about the farewell by accident. He tried to grill Sharm and I about it but we were really good actresses HAHAHA. :P We had Bai Rui give a speech, followed by each of us saying something about him in return. This is one of the best farewell I have ever attended because I was laughing so hard. Bai Rui is really funny and a real entertainer. Without fail, whatever we said about him, he would say something funny in response. Hahaha. I think the world has lost a stand-up comedian to research. :P


Us listening attentively to Bai Rui's speech :)

Bai Rui going to cut his cake.



Bai Rui, you are a very dear friend. I really treasure your frankness, something we don't see much of in people now-a-days. So please don't change. :) Thanks for all the candid and valuable advice you have given me. I really appreciate it. Thanks for your friendship too. We will keep in touch, especially since your new workplace is not that far away! :) Take care. :)

Happy Birthday, YM

Hey YM,

How are you? You should be breaking for Xmas break soon, right? Any plans of going away for a short break, maybe to Brighton or Eastbourne?

Here's wishing you a really Cheerful Birthday! Enjoy yourself!

Take good care of yourself, and your lovely family. Send them our regards too. :)

Lots of Love,
Ma & Pa
Sis, bro-in-law
Marieann & Juliane

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Notebook's Back :)

I have got my personal notebook back from the service centre yesterday. I waited almost an hour just for the collection.

The engineer told me that one of the RAMs in my notebook was faulty. I have two 2GB RAMs in the notebook, one that came with the notebook and the other one was a free gift (an up-grade) when I bought the notebook at the IT Fair in June. However, the engineer didn't say which one was the faulty one. The replacement of the RAM was free as my notebook is still under warranty until 2011. The additional warranty of 2 years was a free gift too. Hopefully I don't have to use it in the future...

It's nice to have my notebook back. :) I hope it will stay healthy.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

A New Breed of Touts?

Do you remember there used to be plenty of touts around Orchard Road area, especially near Tangs, Isetan Scotts? I am referring to those touts who would grab people, ask them questions and then give them a scratch-it card for their effort. Often they ask you to scratch the card on the spot. They would get highly excited that you have won a big prize, usually a trip. They would persuade you to claim the prize at their office near-by. Anyway, when you get there, you realise that it is a time-share gimmick and they don't let you out until you have attended their session, etc., etc. Not so many now-a-days, I think.

However, when I was at Orchard Road this evening, I realised there might be a new breed of touts. I needed to get something from Borders and was just outside International Plaza walking towards Isetan Scotts traffic crossing. I was stopped by this chap. Here's what happened.

Me: "Oh no, not those touts again" (thinking to myself)
Chap: "Do you know her?" (pointed to this picture of a model)
Me: ... (no chance to say anything)
Chap: "I think you have the potential to be a model too"
Me: "WHAT THE XXXX??!!!", "Did I just hear what I think he said??!!" (thinking to myself)
Me: ... (smiled, shook my head and walked away)

GOSH, that is the most ridiculous and outrageous thing I have ever heard!! Sigh. I am mature enough to know there is something not right going on. But what about impressionable young teens? How many would fall for something like that and then realise later that they have been tricked after forking out money to train as a model... Or worse, things might happen to teenage girls should these people be unscrupulous... There is definitely cause for concern. :(

PS. On the other hand, should I be glad that the chap thought I was that young to be tricked?! Hahaha. :P

Monday, 8 December 2008

Baking Time - Lemon Cookies

I promised the girls we would be doing some baking today. So for the past few nights, I have been surfing the net for a simple kiddy cookie recipe. Most of my cookbook recipes are far too complex and complicated for the girls. I managed to find the ideal simple recipe last night lol.

We went to buy the ingredients after a pizza lunch (ordered in, lol). We were going to make Lemon Cookies. We only needed ingredients such as butter, sugar, flour, and lemon. Told you it is a very simple recipe, even the steps were really simple lol.

The girls helped me to measure out the ingredients needed, they helped to stir the mix, and they helped to put the trays into the oven for baking. Don't worry, I was there to supervise lol. After 8 minutes, the cookies were ready! The girls enjoyed eating the "fruits" or rather the cookies of their labour. :P


Saturday, 6 December 2008

Fax, Movie, Lunch, Wedding

Frantic Fax
I was woken up in the morning by an sms. It seemed there was a problem with our book review. Apparently the publisher never received our License to Publish form. I was positive that the form was faxed in mid September because I received the phone bill for it! There was slight panic as I hunted around for the form. Managed to find it after a while, faxed the form over to UK again. Not feeling secured, I scanned the form as well and emailed it to the publisher. I will post the form once the publisher acknowledges that the form has been received. What a frantic morning.

Merry Movie
After the frantic fax, we rushed to the 10:45am movie, Madagascar 2 at Lido. We have already bought the tickets online so have to be there. We managed to be seated just as the movie started. Phew, lucky. :P My girls and I really enjoyed the movie as we were laughing a lot during the movie. :) (See the other post on Madagascar 2)

Luscious Lunch
After the movie, we went to Sun Moon for lunch. Somehow, we were all craving for Japanese food lol. The girls had Tori Kamameshi ($17.80) while I had Pork Kamameshi ($20.80). Although our kamameshi didn't look spectacular (no photos), the taste was good. Or maybe because we were hungry haha. :P The girls' father had Mini Unagi Don and Kinoko Nabe ($17.80): grilled eel on rice and mushroom hot pot. The hot soup was quite nice. We shared desserts: Red Bean Pudding with Coffee Jelly ($5.80) and Tofu Cheesecake. I like the desserts at Sun Moon because they aren't too sweet.





Wonderful Wedding
After lunch, I attended a Malay colleague's wedding. This is my first time Malay wedding attendance. It is all very new and interesting for me. :) I also met quite a few of my other colleagues at the wedding. So it was Makan time (makan means eating in Malay) as well as catching up time lol.



I wish my colleague, Redzuan and his lovely bride a wonderful life together. :)

Madagascar 2

I brought the girls to watch Madagascar 2 as I have promised to take them two weeks ago. We went for the morning 10:45am movie at Lido.

We managed to be seated just as the movie started. Phew. :P (Something happened in the morning, that will be another post lol.) I thought the movie was really funny and a really good stress reliever haha. The girls were laughing too but I don't think they understood all the jokes in the movie. :P But I know they love the music/ songs in the movie, especially "I Like to Move It" lol. I think "The Travelling Song" is quite nice too. We remained in our seats until the credit roll ended. The girls were actually dancing along to the music. I am glad that they really enjoyed themselves with this movie. I did too. :)






For those of you who want a good laugh, I think Madagascar 2 is not a bad choice. :)

Friday, 5 December 2008

Betrayal II

Some friends were concerned and asked if I was alright when they read about my post on Betrayal on 1 December 2008. Thanks, Friends for your concern.

It was a betrayal but not from a person. It was from my new personal notebook. But it doesn't mean the betrayal was any less painful. My new notebook conked out on me after 3 months of usage. Yes, only after 3 months! Being a new notebook, I didn't think to back up my data any more frequent than once a month. And it conked out on me just a day before I was due to back up my data... I could have lost a whole month's worth of data. I had a good friend who helped me to check and my hdd is fine, (THANK GOODNESS!) so it could be the motherboard that is problematic. Anyway, I sent it to the service centre on Tuesday 2 December. It sure didn't invite confidence when the centre was full of people and the wait to see an engineer was 2 to 3 hours minimum! Sigh.

I think what made it hurt so much was because I have always defended this particular brand to my friends, especially my guy friends who couldn't fathom why I was using the brand at all, and my new notebook's untimely demise just seemed to prove their point about the brand. But when my guy friends knew about my notebook, they have been quite nice to me. Other than the "I told you so" look and the shake of their heads they gave me, they didn't rub it in. Thanks, guys. Really appreciated it. :)

I will be collecting my notebook next Tuesday. I will know exactly what was the problem with my notebook. Will keep you guys informed.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Eerie

Just a day after working furiously on completing my Results chapter, it is so eerie to read the results of this Blogthings quiz.
Your Spiritual Number is Four



You bring stability and order into people's lives. You are a devoted friend, and you are able to help others get out of extremely chaotic situations.
I try my best to be a true friend.

Right now, your life is about making difficult choices and complicated decisions. You find yourself at a crossroads, and you can't stall any longer.
So true of my PhD!

While you may be going through a confusing time, you are confident that you will do the right thing. You have the courage to do what's best, even when it's hard.
I have to, no choice.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Writing, Calculating, Working

That's what I am doing for my dissertation chapter on Results - writing, calculating and churning out the numbers and working hard on it. I have wasted enough time. Sigh. My bad.

Now, I want to get my Results chapter done as soon as possible because I am finally seeing that faint speck of light at the end of this long PhD journey. Just a little more to go...

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

I Love Soup

I am pretty surprised that with a few simple questions about soup, my personality can be thus disclosed. :P And it is pretty close to the truth lol. But whatever it is, I love soups, be it clear soup, creamy soup, hot soup, cold soup,...
You Are Miso Soup



You are worldly and well traveled. You have lived a lot of life, and you know there is a lot more to see!
You are very interested in new experiences, especially new literary and cultural experiences.
Oh yes, there is so much more to see, so much more to live, so much more to experience!!

You have a refined palate and love many exotic tastes. You get used to "acquired tastes" fairly easily. Guilty as charged. :P

For you, soup doesn't have to be a meal. You can appreciate a simple soup any time.
I think soup is the most versatile of food and can be enjoyed any time of day. :)

Monday, 1 December 2008

Betrayal

I have been betrayed today.

For the last 4 years, I have stood by her, stood up for her and supported her when no one else did, when no one else would. I was her biggest fan. And to be betrayed like I was today is one of the cruelest way ever. It hurts a lot.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Magic Birthday Party

My family friend, whom I have known since young, came back to Singapore with his family from Melbourne. Since they are in Singapore, they took the opportunity to celebrate their daughter's birthday with family and friends. I guess I counted as both?! Haha.

We were the earliest to arrive at their place at 11:30am. It was okay as we took the time to catch up with his entire extended family (Friend's grandmother, parents, aunts and uncles as well as the cousins) whom I have known since I was a toddler. Haha. :P

The cousins' children and my children soon warmed up to each other and started to play with one another. I managed to take some photos of them. :) The children had lunch first with lots of delicious home-cooked food, such as baked macaroni, spring rolls, salad, kuah pie ti, glutinous rice, otak, mee siam and chicken satay. There were desserts too such as chocolate cupcakes and jellies for the kids. I always like getting invited to the family gatherings because of the delicious home-cooked food and the company. They are like my family. :)

After lunch, the Magic show started at 1pm. The children were most excited and attentive to the magician. :) I was seated right in front too, at the side. No, not because I wanted to be a part of Magic Show but that I needed to take the photos of the kids hahaha. Ok, I did participate in the show, sort of. The magician asked for a dollar note. I gave him a $10 after he promised to return it with interests lol. :P He turned my $10 into a $100!!! I was so happy, thought I struck it rich, hahaha. Alas, he turned it back to a $10. :( All the kids exclaimed with wonder with that trick and all the adults sighed with regret that the $100 was turned back into a $10. Hahaha. :P After the magic show, there was also a balloonist who twisted balloons into all kinds of things for the kids. Friend's wife also prepared lots of presents for the kids. Every kid was smiling most broadly after good food and show, after getting a balloon creation and getting presents.

We went home at 3pm with some of the party food haha. :)

PS I will upload the photos at a later time. Thanks for your patience.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Running Around

Thinking it would be good to have a change of venue rather than our usual Wheelock/ Isetan Scotts area, Juliane and I went to Vivocity.

We got there just a little after 10:30am. We went to Toy'r'us first because Juliane wanted to "turn-turn". Although she didn't find anything to her liking, she wanted to use her dollar. As her mother, I vetoed her decision and we went to PageOne. Of course she was pulling a long face the entire time we were at PageOne until I got her a little notebook, lol.

Around 11:30am, while I was at Esprit, Juliane complained that she was hungry and she wanted to have the Frog. Gosh. How come she is never sick of it?! So for the third weekend, we were back at Sakae Sushi, Wheelock Place for lunch. This time, the waiting staff definitely recognised us. Hmm, maybe should ask them if they are interested to have Juliane be their spokesperson since she loves their food so much.

After a quick lunch (Juliane was really hungry and ate rather quickly today, haha), we went to browse at Borders again, like last weekend, lol. Juliane is pretty independent. She would go round to look at the children's books on her own without needing me to accompany her. Often, I had to go look for her because I was worried haha. We were at Borders for almost two hours before Juliane declared that she was tired. Before we left Borders, we met a good friend and his wife. We chatted for a while before we went off. As we were waiting at the taxi stand, I met an ex-colleague who got off a taxi haha. What a surprise. We managed to chat for a while until my taxi came.

It was nice looking at books and meeting friends today. :)

Friday, 28 November 2008

Sepulchre by Kate Mosse

It has been a long time since I last wrote a book review. Well, that doesn't mean I haven't been reading, just that I have been kind of lazy, haha.

Sepulchre is the second book by Kate Mosse that I have read. I enjoyed it as much as the first book. The story in Sepulchre, like in Mosse's first book Labyrinth, is set in two different centuries in France. Although the story telling slips in and out between the 19th century and the 21st century, there is no jarring effect to the story telling. The story is superbly linked the two centuries together by secrets, mystery, murder and the occult.

I enjoyed reading Sepulchre because it has my favourite genres all in one story. I thought it is rather refreshing with the tarot being a major feature in the story. It was almost like having the company of an old friend when I was reading Sepulchre, lol. The tarot feature in the book made the story all the more interesting for me as I read tarot cards. :)

If you like history, mystery, secrets and don't mind a dash of the occult (all in good fun), I think you will find Sepulchre a pretty interesting read. But a fair warning, Sepulchre is quite a thick book so it is not a book that you can finish reading in a matter of a few hours.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Happy Birthday, Dinh

Today is my lovely sister-in-law, Dinh's birthday in UK.

We want to wish you a Most Happy and Wonderful Birthday!!! May all your wishes come true. Have a great day. :)

Love,
Ma and Pa,
Sis, Bro-in-law
Marieann & Juliane

PS Hey, YM, remember to get your lovely wife a present. :) Hey, Dinh, it has been a while since we last chatted. Soon, ok? :) Hope to visit UK again, soon. :P

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Colourful Name

I am very appreciative of the fact that my surname or last name is that of a colour. A bright, sunny and cheerful colour at that too. :P My surname/ last name is Wong, 黄 (pronounced as Huang in mandarin), Yellow literally! It also means sulfur, colour of the earth and the symbol of royalty. :) There aren't many Chinese surnames/ last names that are of colours - 朱 (vermilion, pronounced as Zhu), 金 (gold, pronounced as Jin), 蓝 (blue, pronounced as Lan), 白 (white, pronounced as Bai). As such, I personally feel it is quite unique to have a colour as my surname lol.

Some information from Wikipedia about Wong/ Huang/ 黃:
While Huáng is the romanisation of the word, it may also be romanised as Houang, Hoang, Wong, Vong, Hung, Hong, Bong, Eng, Ng, Uy, Wee, Oi, Oei or Ooi, Ong, Hwang, or Ung due to pronunciations of the word in different dialects and languages. The surname is known as Hoàng or as Huỳnh in Vietnamese, and Hwang, Whang in Korean.

The use of Wong (黃; pinyin: Huáng) as a surname started in 648 BC when the Huang Kingdom located in Henan Province of China was sacked. The citizens chose to adopt the name of the Kingdom as their surname in remembrance of their origin. From Henan, they dispersed all over China and eventually to all corners of the globe. It is said to be among the top seven most common surname in China and one of the most common surnames in the world.
(Source: Wikipedia)

Do you know the origin and history of your surname? It might be fun to find out. :)

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

If I am a Cat...

If I am a cat, I would be a Ragdoll Cat hahaha. Well, that's according to a recent Blogthings quiz. I do know a Ragdoll Cat personally. I do think he is the most adorable cat, very laid back and sweet but also very regal and poise. :) But to say I am like a Ragdoll, that really tickles me, LOL. See my responses below.
You Are a Ragdoll Cat



You are extremely cute and cuddly. You are downright adorable.
HAHAHAHA.

Your personality matches your exterior. You are very laid back and sweet.
Laid back, Yes. Described by a good friend as having no ambition lol.

You don't really like the outdoors. You prefer to stay inside where it's cozy.
Why go outdoors when I can nap?! Lol.

Luckily, you are the perfect houseguest. You are polite and obedient.
Of course, I am the guest, have to behave. :P

Monday, 24 November 2008

Cool Website - IGN.com

I found this website: IGN.com recently. I thought it is pretty cool and useful as it provides gaming and entertainment resource for games, videos, movies, tv shows, dvds, music, etc.

I have been keeping up with my favourite tv series with it lol. The website provides the episode guides of tv series (for the different seasons). It is good as I sometimes missed out on certain episodes and I can read up on the website to keep up to date lol. :P

I think it is quite useful to gamers too as it has reviews, news, features, cheats, walkthroughs, etc for the different game platforms - PC, Xbox, PSP, PS, Wii, etc. Too bad, I am not into gaming now-a-days, otherwise I would definitely read up on the cheats and walkthroughs hahaha. :P Click here to have a look at the website. :)

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Books, Candles, Turn-turn

Juliane and I went out with a few things to get.

First, we went to Toys"r"us, Paragon. Juliane has been whining for the past month that she didn't get to do her "turn-turn". That's what she calls those toy dispensing machine where you have to drop in $1, 2 or 3 and then turn a switch for a toy to drop out lol. She "turn-turn"ed to her heart's content today. Two "turn-turn"s for herself and once on behalf of her sister haha.

We crossed over to Takashimaya because I wanted to get some unscented, coloured candles. But I couldn't find any. We walked to Isetan Scotts and it doesn't have such candles too. :( It seemed most candles are scented now-a-days which I don't fancy very much as some scent are too strong or artificial. I am sure there must be a candle shop somewhere in Singapore that sells coloured, unscented candles.

We had lunch at Sakae Sushi again. I think some of the waiting staff recognised us from last week lol. We sat at the same table as last week and ordered the same dishes too, haha. After lunch, we spent some time at Borders. There was a 20% discount promotion on. However, I used the Borders coupon for 30% off a full priced book. I managed to get two books for only $32, a savings of $13! :)

We both went home happy as Juliane got her "turn-turn"s and I got my books. :)

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Mediterranean and Japanese

For a change, we decided to try something different, Mediterranean food. :)

We went to Esmirada at Orchard Hotel for lunch.
The girls shared from the Ala carte menu: Kakavia ($10; Greek fisherman soup: seafood simmered with tomatoes, vegetables and herbs) and Spaghetti Ai Funghi ($20; spaghetti with mushroom, olive oil and basil). The girls really enjoyed the tomato-based soup but they thought the spaghetti was a tad too oily.



The parents had the 3-course set lunch ($26++).
The girls' father had Garlic Butter Mushroom with Crispy Pita Bread as starter, Smoked Salmon with Penne in Tomato Vodka Cream as main and for dessert, Pear Brulee with Almond Raspberry sauce. I thought the mushroom with pita bread was quite nice. The girls really liked the penne in tomato vodka sauce. The brulee really had the taste of pear in it which was quite refreshing and to my liking. :)





I had the soup, Kakavia as starter, which I totally enjoyed too. For main, I had Broiled Honey Mustard Chicken with Tzatziki, potato wedges and glazed vegetables. The chicken was tender and juicy, and the tzatziki (cucumber in yogurt dip) was really nice. For dessert, it was Warmed Melted Chocolate Cake with Ice Cream. The cake had a melted chocolate centre which was heavenly. :P Don't worry, I only had two spoons of the cake. The girls had the rest of it. :)





After lunch, we headed to Isetan Scotts to get a present for a friend's daughter whose birthday party is next week. The Japanese food fair is still on at the supermarket. We bought more of the rice cake to enjoy later at home lol.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Bittersweet News

I heard a bittersweet news today.

Another one of us is leaving. Sigh. We are really good colleagues and friends. This friend is always candid with me and that is why I really appreciate this friend. I am really sad to hear that my friend has decided to leave. I will have one less friend to talk to and to seek advice from at work. :( On the other hand, I am happy to hear that my friend has a better opportunity elsewhere. I wish my friend all the best.

I am expecting to hear more of such bittersweet news in the coming month... :( But I pray hard that I am wrong.

PS Some of you at my work place must be wondering who I am talking about. Well, you will know who it is when my friend decide to reveal to all in due time.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Korea... Frequent Flyer

Just when it seemed like I was in Korea a long time ago, I am reminded of Korea again lol.

I saw a letter addressed to me from Korean Air. Surprised, I opened it. I was given a frequent flyer card from Korean Air. Hahaha. :) It is nice to have the Sky Pass card from Korean Air. I can accumulate mile points from flying on Korean Air and its partnership airlines and from staying in accommodations in partnership with the airline if I travel overseas.

Now I am a member of both Qantas and Korean Air frequent flyer programmes. They do come in useful. :) I have accumulated enough points on Qantas Frequent Flyer to redeem a return air-ticket to a near-by Asian country. :P Should use it one of these days lol. :P

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Release of PSLE Results

The PSLE results will be released tomorrow.

I am anxious to know how my P6 counsellees did for their PSLE. I do hope their results are what they have expected or even better. :) I hope they can get into the school of their choice with their results. I also have a friend whose son is in P6 too. I wonder how he performed at his PSLE.

I pray and hope that all of them will get really good PSLE results. All the Best!

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Notebook Problem Again

Sigh. My notebook is problematic again. This time, it was my email system. Somehow, a file has been corrupted when the email system was being reinstalled into my notebook after it crashed. I didn't discover the problem until today. Thank goodness, the IT department was able to resolve the problem. :)

I had the latest SPSS version 17 installed into my notebook as I was having lots of problem taking out the commuter license for SPSS 16. However, to my horror, when I wanted to look at an earlier SPSS version of data output, I couldn't open it with SPSS 17. DARN! What is going to happen to my PhD statistical analysis??!! Thank goodness, the IT department was able to resolve the problem too, sort of. Well for the newer version of SPSS data output files with the extension .spv, I will have to use SPSS 17 to open. For the older versions of SPSS data output files with the extension . spo, I will have to use SmartViewer 15 to open. Sigh. Very troublesome but that's the best solution so far.


Since its crash, although revived, my notebook has been acting very strange. I have been diligently backing up my data twice a week, just in case. Lol.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Winter Aji Matsuri

Juliane and I went to Isetan Scotts for its Winter Aji Matsuri. We both like Japanese snacks, especially the rice cake. :) I let Juliane pick out what she likes to eat and she chose Itokiri Dango Rice Cake with Red Bean and Kin No Mame (bean snacks). She also chose an Apple Daifuku (with apple paste inside) and a Pumpkin Daifuku (with pumpkin paste inside) for herself and her maternal grandmother respectively.

After buying our goodies, we went to Nanbantei Japanese Restaurant for lunch. We shared an Obento set. For dessert, we shared a Turkish ice cream. :) It was a really relaxing day compared to yesterday lol.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

P1 Orientation

Today is Marieann's P1 Orientation. She is totally excited about it.

Everyone got up early so that we would be in time for the orientation which started at 8am. We have to report at Marieann's assigned class. As we walked to her class, I met a number of my former colleagues. There were several "Har?!! Your daughter in P1 already?!". Hahaha. Yes, time really flies. :P

Once at the classroom, the parents had to fill up some forms while Marieann was at another corner of the classroom writing her name and drawing with the other girls. I guess it is a way to relax them. From 9 to 11 am, there was a briefing for the parents first, followed by a concert for the parents and the 2009 P1 students. As we were seated in the second row in the auditorium, we couldn't see Marieann walking in with her class from the back into the auditorium when the 2009 P1 students joined the parents for the concert. A pity. :( After the concert ended, Juliane and I went to collect Marieann from the amphitheatre while their father went to get the P1 textbooks. Thereafter, I was chatting most happily with my former colleagues in the staffroom lol. It is great that my former colleagues still remember me haha. By the way, a former student remembers me too. She came up to me to ask if I taught at the school before when I was speaking to Marieann's form teacher. Yes, I did and she said she was a student when I was teaching at the school. Oh my goodness. A former student is now a teacher in the school! Gosh, time really FLIES! :P It was 12pm when we left the school.

We went for lunch at Su Korean restaurant as I was missing my Korean food lol. :P The girls were against having Korean food but I veto-ed them hahaha. It was so nice to have my side dishes, my Ginseng Chicken Soup and my Seafood Pancake with Onions again. Yummy! :)


The side dishes with my Ginseng drink with Honey



After lunch, we went to the uniform shop at People's Park Centre to buy Marieann's uniforms. We didn't get them in school because it was too crowded. A good thing too that we decided to go to the shop direct because there were fitting rooms so we could try out the uniforms to find the correct fit. :) We had some desserts after getting the uniforms. I guess it was a just reward for everyone after such an exciting and hectic day.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Nature's Beauty

Today, I had a school visit with my PI in the afternoon. We had a really good and enjoyable discussion session with the teachers. :)

Just before we left the Science room, one of the teachers noticed that one of the students' Science project has yielded result. The student's Science project has emerged from its chrysalis and was drying its colourful wings.



I have never seen a butterfly broken out of its chrysalis and drying its wing. It was a wondrous experience.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Colours of My Personality

Long have I known that colours can be very telling of a person's character and personality. As for my personality, my colours are quite revealing lol.
The Ultimate Color Test



When you are at peace, you are:
Deeply stable

When you are moved to act, you are:
Giving and warm

When you are inspired, you are:
Spontaneous and adventurous

When your life is perfectly balanced, you are:
Light hearted and funny

Your life's purpose is:
To change the world

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Take Care!

Today is the last day of counselling for 2008.

It was with a heavy heart as I saw my P6 counsellees for the last time. I have grown close to them as I watched them grow over the year, or years for some of them. In a way, they are like my own kids too. I want to see them do well and live well. I am glad that all of them have grown a lot more mature since I first saw them and I hope I have shown them that they have the potential to be what they strive to be and to believe in themselves. I certainly do believe in them. :) I gave each of them a small token (a bookmark from Korea) and a little card with my contacts so that they can reach me if they want to/ need to.

I wish all of them well and all the best for their future. I will always be here for them, should they need me. Take care!

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Knowledge or Junk?

I was taking a break from writing and tried this blogthing since it is about knowledge. Might be interesting to know how much I know lol. Surprise, surprise, surprise. Now I know, in my head, I have a lot of "knowledge" or more fondly known as junk, haha. :P
There Are 0 Gaps in Your Knowledge




Where you have gaps in your knowledge:

No Gaps!

Where you don't have gaps in your knowledge:

Philosophy
Religion
Economics
Literature
History
Science
Art

Monday, 10 November 2008

Notebook Revived!

I got my notebook back today. Yeah! :) My friends at IT department managed to save my data and transferred them into a new hard disk. :) It was my hard disk that crashed. I was very lucky too as they only had one last hard disk available. Otherwise I would have to wait while they order in new hard disks. :)

I also have SPSS 17, the latest version installed and I managed to take out the commuter license for that. I am really glad as I can now do stats at home too. I have had so much trouble taking out the commuter license with SPSS 16. Now, no more problem. :)

Hopefully, my notebook can work for another year at least. It has been with me since end 2004. We both want to go for long service award hahaha. :P

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Back to Weekend Routine

We are back to the usual weekend routine.

In the late morning, Juliane and I went to Isetan Scotts to walk around. I haven't been here for more than two weeks, lol. We went to Sakae Sushi, Wheelock Place for lunch since I haven't been here for a while too hahaha. Actually I wanted to go for Korean food. Somehow I am missing Korean food lol. Maybe next weekend, we will go for Korean food. :P



I laughed when I saw the photo I took with Juliane. It is so like her to do funny faces haha. :P

After lunch, we did some grocery shopping at Isetan Supermarket before heading home in a taxi. Spent the rest of the day just relaxing, reading and napping. Ah, life haha. :P

Saturday, 8 November 2008

High School Musical 3

I brought the girls to watch HSM3 at Orchard Cineleisure. The tickets were booked online yesterday and there didn't seem to be many people watching it. Boy, were we wrong, haha. The cinema (a medium size one) was packed! Not just families with children but also adults were watching it. :P

I thought the songs and dance were pretty good, as catchy as the previous ones in HSM1 and HSM2. As for the plot, well, it is a tween/ teen movie so don't expect too much. :P Below is the girls' favourite song, "Can I Have This Dance?" in HSM3.


Friday, 7 November 2008

Kid Movies

The girls have been pestering me to bring them to see HSM3 ever since they knew it would be out on 24 October. However, we were in Hong Kong then. Then I had to go to Korea immediately the next day after we came back from Hong Kong. So the girls had to wait till I get back from Korea.

As promised, I will be bringing them to watch HSM3 tomorrow. I don't think there would be a huge crowd as it has been in the cinemas for two weeks now. :)

***
There is another movie that the girls wanted me to take them to - Winx Club Movie "The Secret of the Lost Kingdom" which is about fairies. Ok, I don't mind watching that one lol. I used to read Enid Blyton's books about fairies, pixies, brownies, Enchanted Wood, Faraway Tree, Wishing Chair. I will get to relive my childhood memory. :)

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Crashed!

Crashed 1
Today is my first day back at work. After two weeks away, I am ready to start work again. But guess what? My notebook crashed! AHHHHHHH! On my first day of work?!! And I didn't had time to back up my data (two month's worth of work) before I went away to Hong Kong and Korea!! Sigh. There is nothing I could do except to send my notebook to the ER (IT department). Hopefully, they can help to retrieve my data.

Crashed 2
I am suffering from jet lag severely lol. I am sleeping and I am awake at the wrong times of the day. Maybe after a few more days, I would be ok. But right now, I am crashing badly too, not unlike my notebook, hahaha. :P

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Thoughts on My Korean Trip

I have many thoughts about my Korean trip. I have definitely enjoyed my whole experience in Korea, despite it being a country with different culture and language and the cold weather lol. I have gained in a number of ways just on this one trip to Korea.

First, I have gained a lot in terms of conference experience. It is the first time I was the sole representative of my project at an international conference. So there was a lot of responsibility to do my project proud haha. :P In that aspect, I think I did rather well by being awarded the Outstanding Presentation Award. :) As well as being given an invitation by the Editor-in-Chief of a prestigious tier 1 journal in Science Education to submit the full paper of my presentation for publication in the journal! :) I think these are the most wonderful kinds of encouragement and support being shown to a budding researcher like me. :) I am really appreciative. Not to forget, my PI and a good friend, K who were cheering for me back here in Singapore when I was at the conference in Korea. Thanks, guys. Love you guys. :)

Second, I have gained in terms of friendship. I have made a number of new friends from the conference as well as gotten to know two of the keynoters better through the outings organised after the conference. I will definitely keep in touch with my new-found friends in Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and UK.

Third, I have gained in terms of cultural experience. It is my first time in Korea. I am delighted to have learnt about Korea's culture, history and heritage through the visits to its palace, traditional village, through conversations with my new Korean friends and through Korean food. :) Through Korean food, I have also gained a different kind of experience - standing and eating at street food stalls on the cold autumn nights, lol. :)

Fourth, I realised that I am a risk-taker to some of my friends lol. :P They told me that I was very brave to have gone to Korea alone lol. Well, no "risk", no gain, right?! Hahaha. Seriously, if I had not gone to Korea due to fear of being in a foreign country, fear of language barrier, fear of travelling alone in a foreign country, I would never have gained so much and experienced so much.

Fifth, I have also learnt something about myself. I realised research means a lot more to me than I have admitted. I realised now that I am passionate and enthusiastic about research to the extent that I went to the conference to present the findings of my project despite the lack of funding for my trip to the conference. :)

I have indeed gained a lot from this Korean trip. It is a trip that I will remember and treasure for a long time to come. :)

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Good bye, Korea. I will miss you.

Updated 4 November 11:35pm.

I am leaving Korea today for home. Time always seem to fly when you are having a good time. :(
Before I check out of my accommodation, I will take a last walk around the area and take some photos.

I will update my blog when I get back into Singapore tonight.

***
As I walked around Gwanak-gu one last time, I took several photos - the subway station, the airport bus station, the accommodation I stayed in. Despite the cold, a differnt culture and a different language, I have enjoyed myself immersely in Korea. I will treasure my memories of Korea for a long time to come.







I checked out of my accommodation just before 11am. Just as I reached the airport bus station, the 6003 bus arrived at 11:06am. What good timing lol. :) It took about 1 hour 45 mins to reach Incheon International Airport as there was some traffice on the road. Still, I was pretty early for my Korean Air flight KE641 at 3:55pm. No queue at the check-in counter. :) 10 minutes later, I was shopping at the duty free shops, getting more souvenirs such as ginseng sweets, and rice cakes.

I cleared customs and was having a light lunch of sandwich and milk tea by 1:40pm Korean time (12:40pm S'pore time). I bought more souvenirs - ginseng tea lol. :P I also had a try at making the traditional Korean pouch at the Korean Cultural Experience Centre. The centre has free events such as making pounches, paper tray, paper boxes, etc for foreign travellers and they have instructors teaching you how to make them and you get to keep your creation. It was fun. :)

I took a rest at the internet lounge (free internet usage) and surfed the net, checking and replying emails. At 3pm, I slowly made my way to my departure gate 15. However on my way from the internet lounge to the gate, I dropped my cardigan. I was most upset. :( Tried looking for it but couldn't find it. Reported it lost to two Information counters and hoped that my cardigan would be returned to me in time before my boarding at 3:25pm. Well, the chances of me getting it back before I fly off didn't look good at all. I was really upset and was lining up to board the plane at 3:40pm when I heard my name being called over the airport PA system. :P Yeah! They found my cardigan but bad news, it is over at the Info Counter at Gate 29 which was like 400m away. I have never ran so fast in my life before!! :P Managed to get back to my Gate 15 by 3:55pm. They were already paging last call for boarding. I was so out of breath, actually I thought I was going to pass out haha. :P But I was most happy to get my cardigan back. Thanks to the kind soul who took it to Info Counter. :)

The plane took off at 4:15pm. No I don't think I was the cause for the slightly late departure lol. :P I was initially seated next to an elderly man (2-seater). When we were taking off, the stewardess moved me to the empty 2-seaters behind. I had two seats to my self. Yeah! My good luck continues lol. :) I managed to have a little nap before dinner was served at 5pm Korean time (4pm S'pore time). The chicken was good! I haven't had much meat when I was in Korea as I couldn't take a lot of Korean dishes as they had beef in them so could only take vegetarian dishes.


Managed to sleep a little more before watching the inflight movie "The Dark Knight". Wow, I can understand all the rave about Heath Ledger now. He was really good!

The plane landed at 9:02pm S'pore time. The girls were at the airport to pick me up. It was nice to see them after a week. :) I managed to arrive home at 10pm. Did a little unpacking but will probably do the bulk of it over the weekend lol.