Sunday, June 17, 2012

Shinhwa Live in Singapore

My idol for the past 11 years finally performed live in front of me on 16Jun12! It was probably the best day in my life and I got so high, regardless what others will comment about them! <3

Here is the video whereby I waited for their arrival on 15Jun12 in Changi...

I was seated during the concert and hence could not get a lot of excellent shots (note to self: got to start investing in a digital SLR) but seeing them performing live was out of the world! Love every moment of it, though I could not understand what were they talking about in Korean but I laughed anyway (another note to self: got to learn Korean, for real).

It happened like a dream but I still hope to see them again! <3

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Love. K-pop.

On 27 September 2011, first day of Singapore's 2011 Formula Race, City Hall attracted a lot of young ladies, most of them with the intention to watch GD & T.O.P and Seungri to perform on stage live at 11pm that night. I was one of them! Hate to admit it but it was worth the wait though it all began from 1pm! It was a real long day ahead. 

Lorraine and I got the wrist bands to be in the enclosed area in front of the stage. Even though we managed to snare a good spot in front of the stage at 7pm, it nearly killed the both of us to wait till 11.15pm. You can only imagine all the screaming when they appeared. First with Seungri performing "Strong Baby", "What Can I Do" and "VVIP". GD & T.O.P then appeared and performed "Oh Yeah!", "High High" and "Bokkigayo". Finally the three of them reappeared and performed the last track of the night "How Gee".  

Even though Taeyang and Daesung were unable to make it but it was still good to see the others live on stage despite the long wait. I was right in front of the stage, could see them really clearly and I will not deny that Seungri and T.O.P are really good looking chaps! Okay, someone please pinch me already! Some people only look good in pictures or videos as they have been edited but this really proved something. 

I only have a video of their performance (video to be uploaded, oops!) and some pictures of the pre-performances, obviously taken when we were so bored of waiting... 

People kept judging me for attending this event, but you know what? I am happy. Enough said. Last but not least, thank you for everything, Lorraine! :)

K-pop fan, Na! 

P.S. I will not start going nuts over every K-pop concerts to be held in Singapore. Don't worry!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Love. Food.

For the month of October 2011, I have been out and about exploring good food with my colleagues. Here are some of the places we had been to:

1. Hong Kah Food Court in Jurong West

How to get there? You may reach there by taking bus 335 from Jurong East bus interchange. 

What is so great about it? You should look for the porridge served with steamed chicken plus a generous serving of soy sauce + sesame oil. The porridge is very smooth and the chicken is delicious! I have only been there once and yet to have the second opportunity to go back. Food costs around SGD 6-7, serving for two. 

Bleh? Do not order the iced desserts from the stall run by young adults (i.e. around 20+ of age), they do not know what they are doing. Portioning was not good to expect people to go back for round two. 

2. Hong Xin Restaurant in Chinatown

How to get there? Get off from Chinatown MRT station and walk for around 10 minutes? Okay, not really specific, I totally understand. But you can see the where about it is from here

What is so great about it? Great dim sum served using push carts. All food served was finger licking good! This place is usually very popular, despite located in Level 5 or 7 (my memory is definitely killing me) and you have to be there as early as 8am, else you will have to queue. I was there with three friends of mine and we had a great time talking despite the noise around us. You have to try most of the dim sum served, from siew mai, har kau, phoenix claws, pork ribs, lau sa pau (steamed buns with custard + salted egg yolk fillings), lotus pau (made in a pig shape), lo mai kai to its great dessert, mango + tofu or durian + tofu! We had chrysanthemum tea throughout our lunch! We spent around SGD25 per pax.

Bleh? The mango pamelo isn't the greatest and I did not really like the roasted suckling too! Other than that, just be there early to avoid queues, especially over weekends! 

3. Frog Leg Porridge at Lorong 9 Geylang

How to get there? Alight at Aljunied MRT station, walk past CPA building and at the major traffic light junction, turn right and walk all the way till you find Lorong 9. It starts operating at 4.30pm till late. 

What is so great about it? The plain porridge served with frog leg cooked with soy sauce and dash of chilli. Do have your porridge served with gravy from the frog leg! It is the best thing ever! We spent around SGD 15 per pax as we had about 6 frogs altogether but one big pot of plain porridge. We also had the beef hor fun from the restaurant next door. To be honest, I do not recommend you to take both frog leg and beef hor fun at the same time as you will be unable to decide which one and better. Eventually you will decide that frog leg is best. 

Bleh? It may get late, and heading back to the MRT station (if you are walking) isn't a great sight. Well, we know what Geylang is famous for. Just do not be alone. 

4. Sushi Tei Japanese Restaurant 

How to get there? They have branches in Paragon (Orchard), Vivocity and some other places. I have been to the one in Paragon twice. 

What is so great about it? PLEASE try out its baked prawn with mayonnaise and cheese sauce over it. We had the large ones which cost SGD 10 each but trust me, you will feel out of the world with every single bite you take. We had brought our German colleagues there and ordered this, they could not stop praising it! Another option will be its baked scallop covered with similar sauce, it is equally good but prawn is still the best! 

I have been to the Brunei's leading Japanese restaurant a lot of times and only came to realize that it cannot be compared to Sushi Tei. You get more variety of cooking style to the food here, instead of the normal teriyaki. We also had the Phoenix roll covered with mango, salmon skin (another goodie), and some salmon steak. Desserts were equally great! Both of the times we dined there, it averaged around SGD35-40 per pax.

Bleh? Well, no reservation of seats may be considered a bleh. But other than that, all is good! 

5. Sembawang Seafood Restaurant 

How to get there? We took a shuttle van there. But perhaps you can get there by shuttle bus service provided by Sembawang Plaza from Sembawang MRT station. This restaurant is right opposite to the plaza entrance. 

What is great about it? Perhaps I can say cheaper seafood, it was around SGD 35 per pax (there were around 11 of us). We had crabs (cooked in black pepper, chilli and salted egg), curry fish head, butter prawns and some vegetables. I love the crabs! Not because it was especially good but simply because due to my love for crabs! 

Bleh? We were there for dinner and we had to dine in candlelight because its generator kept failing. Other than that, it was okay considering the amount we were paying for seafood! 

6. Toh Guan Food Court, Jurong East

How to get there? I was there by car with my colleagues and I could not find the exact location of it. This may need some time... All I know it is located somewhere past IMM in Jurong East. 

What is so great about it? Look for the stall which sell bah kut teh and fish head curry! I am really not a big fan of fish head curry but this is great served with rice. It costs around SGD9 per pax, a big pot costs SGD18. Do share it with someone as the portion is quite big! I did not try the bah kut teh but maybe I will try it out some other time! When you purchase drinks, the uncle will give you a free packet of tissue. Sounds good? :)

Bleh? A little too far to be reached by walking alone, unless I find other sources. This is basically just typical Singapore food court environment, so do not have high expectation of the ambiance. Well, food is good - I guess that's all that matters!

Bon Appetit to all! <3

Another Year. Another Chapter.

Happy 26th Birthday to me! Not going to lie about it, after all age is just a number and as long as you are healthy and happy, what else matter? Okay, obviously not going to lie because the candles have already clearly indicated my age. It was not easy to blow out the candles, they keep increasing each year and I am a little more out of breath each year! Not forgetting to thank my lovely colleagues who made my first birthday in Singapore much more tolerable. Feel really loved, by all eleven of them. 

A couple of months have passed since my last updated. No I have not been busy, I have been a bummer. It had always been work and classes. Nope, no revision has been done yet especially for the fact that my exam is around 6 weeks away? I remember marking it on my calendar earlier this morning, as of 1st Nov, there will be 48 days! Oh no!

In a glimpse of an eye, I have been in Singapore for 10 months! How time flies! I have not seen my family for 7 months, I miss them like crazy, especially home cooked meals! I do not even know whether I can still drive properly when I get back.  

Not forgetting to welcome my new nephew, Ryan Chin! He came to Earth on 25th July 2011, so that means I have yet to meet him to date but I love him already!

How has life to me these days? Well, there had been some ups and downs at work and in life throughout these months. At work, most of my existing job scope had been assigned to our new supervisor, so I am basically a major backup of everyone, though I have not acquired skills in certain area yet due to unexpected circumstances. A colleague had to work part time for almost three months, so I had to back her up to do payables (not the most interesting job but it requires less thinking). So every time every one else is sick or on leave, I have to take over most of their tasks and I am left with "less thinking required" job scope. For sure I was a little upset over these whole situation in the beginning, but you just got to adapt to changes and come to think of it, as long as I still get paid and since these tasks are not too difficult.

I am going home in January 2012 for around 10 days! Yes... I am really looking forward to that. Although it will be a long journey home. Before that, I have to face my exams! Boo-hoo!

Another realization of life: 
In a relationship with any human, regardless of gender, the pattern will always be the same. It starts off being great, you enjoy their companionship. But a couple of months down the road, s/he will start to irritate the heck out of you, and you will start to resent a little just to hang out with him/her. You also start to wonder what happened to the person you have known many months back. Well, is this called compromising? Even though the position I am in now is not relating to a man, but I actually had this feelings about compromising, to look past her "flaws" and our little disagreements.

But really, with her judging me based on her own standards is not right. I have my own to be happy whenever I wish. I have my own right to like someone (as a person)  even though I may not know him/her well. Why should I like or dislike one just because you like or dislike them? 

Today is a day off at work, just lazing at home feels great. Hey, I did my ironing alright. In addition to that, I had a good nap in the afternoon through the rainy day! Awesome! Yes, no revision involved, but I got the notes on my bed, with P1 Notes 8 flipped to page one. That's a big step, no? 

An auditor is having his CPA exam in 2 weeks (one and a half by now?) - all the best to him! ;)

Till my next update, take care! 
xoxo, Na!

P.S. Looking forward to our company's D&D in about 1.5 weeks' time to be held in Shangri-La Hotel. Theme would be Singapore identity style. Too bad my mom is not here, so no one to sew baju kebaya for me. So I may end up there with my own dress. :)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Exam in Expo, Singapore

This is my first time to sit for an ACCA exam overseas, outside of Brunei.

To sit for an exam in Brunei, I have to take a 1hr 15min road trip to reach the capital. ACCA exam centre in Brunei is located in CfBT, Kianggeh in the capital of Brunei. Normally there will not be that many students taking the exams. Combination of CAT and ACCA, it will probably be 100 students (maximum) per day. The chief invigilator is a British woman, who appeared strict but she is quite sweet if you talk to her. Prior to every exams, she will read the rules & regulations set by ACCA via a mike. She has a voice which makes you feel calm. Usually there are around 3-4 other invigilators who are volunteers, I think. I sat for my exams there for quite a few years, and I always see the same faces of the few invigilators. The desk in the exam room is not very big - width is just enough for three A4 papers spread across the table. Floors are carpeted, hence you do not hear footsteps from all sorts of different shoes walking past you, which can get annoying when you are trying to focus on your exams.

ACCA exams  in Singapore are held in Expo, which is at the far east, and a stop before Changi Airport if you take the train. I stay in the North West of Singapore, so I opted to travel to Expo by train and it took me a good one hour to reach there too. Though the travelling time was quite similar to the time I had to travel from KB to BSB in Brunei, but most of the time I had to stand in the train as there were no seats. So... go figure. Upon reaching Expo, you will feel the chillness of the blasting air conditioning in the entire Expo. I was warned about taking a jacket with me, but I thought since I was wearing a long sleeved pullover, it should not be bad but boy, was I wrong!

The hall will only be opened to students at 2.15pm. Prior to that, you can see a lot of students seated outside the hall, on the floor, on the chairs, in the restaurants nearby with notes in their hands. It did not make me comfortable, as this brought the stress tension higher up. Usually I will not go through my notes before my exams anymore. Firstly because my brain is already very tired from all the hardcore studying, and secondly I need to relax my mind before heading into the exam hall. But in the end, as I was there pretty early, I got my notes out to re-read them. Nothing too bad I guess. There were around 1,000 plus of students that day, combination of ACCA and CAT. So, you can imagine the proportion between Brunei's students and Singapore's students.

When I got into the hall, and even before that, I did not see any familiar face at all. I did not see any of my classmates at all! This is different from Brunei. Because in Brunei, you get to see your few but nice classmates and encourage one another. Once in the hall, it was cold cold cold all the way! The floor was cemented, hence you hear a lot of footsteps and the chief invigilator who was giving instructions throughout the 45min before the exams had a very sharp voice. It did not have the soothing effect which makes you feel relaxed. There were students who were having 2 hours paper that day, and when she called out to students who were finishing their exams after 2 hours, it was kind of distracting.

During the entire exam, I could feel the coldness on my hands and on my face. Thank goodness the exam paper kept me busy throughout. The funniest part was that, when I realized I only had one hour left and I still have some questions not covered yet (as I skipped them to gain the easier points), I actually felt warm, rolled up my sleeves and started to scribble like crazy. I managed to finish my paper 10min before 6.15pm, I do not wish to comment on how I did, as the higher the expectation, the greater the disappointment. Imagine I thought that my mock exam paper was easy, and in the end what happened? I flunked! As I left, there were again a lot of people in the hall. It is definitely not something which I am used to.

Just as I have expected, I did not see any familiar face even after the exams. So I could not share my exam experience with anyone. It made me kind of sad. It made me reminiscence the days in Brunei when I could discuss with happiness or disappointments with my fellow classmates. Though there were only a handful of them, but I believe in quality over quantity.

I took the train home, alone again. Though I was happy that my exam is finally over (only one paper what, nothing too glamorous about it), my mind and body were tired and I had to stand in the train all the way from Expo to North East. Normally, my parents would be the ones sending me to and fro my exam hall in Brunei. They would make sure I had lunch prior to leaving the house. Of course, I would always get a hotdog pastry from the bakery under our exam center in Brunei. I do not believe my lunch could possibly last me till 6.15pm, especially with a range of gruesome brain juice squeezing in between.

So that was my experience taking my ACCA exam in Expo, Singapore. I definitely hope it will get better, referring to my adjustment. I am being comparable which I know is not nice, especially now that I am here in Singapore and not Brunei. I should accept whatever there is. At the end of the day, it is not about the process getting to the goal, it is the outcome which matters more. Okay, this is a little conflicting about my opinion, once, that the process of getting to the goal is more important compared to reaching your destination. Oops!

All the best who are still having their exams next week. God bless! :)
Thank you for following my ranting till this far, if you have not closed the window half way through.

Updates of Nana's life...

Exam came and gone in an eye blink. Although prior to that, I was crazy counting down the days, stressing myself out and procrastinating, which was bad and unhealthy - especially I only had to handle one paper F9 this term. Does this mean that I have to do better this time compared to the previous sittings when I was juggling with two papers in a go? Yes, I better. I had my reason to stress out, imagine failing your mock exam. Though there was no specific grade. But a fail is still a fail, hence it was my wake up call. Result will only be out in end of Aug, will update then! Till the release of results, kindly pray for me! :)

Next up is my Professional level with 5 papers. My plan is to take up P1 which is the 100% theory paper (something like my F4 Corporate Law) this December by self-studying and complete the other 4 by 2012! This will require more effort than ever. But I believe, when there is a goal, there is a way and most importantly, determination and dedication play important roles too! (Say is always easier than done!) I will allow myself to have fun till end of June, then in July, I will start my first attempt in self studying.

Life - it had been quiet. Things had not been easy between the landlady and I, I got ticked off on this day when she went a little too far on her nagging, over a vacuum flask. Previously I had been patient with her, thinking that if I were in her shoes, perhaps I couldn't do it any better too. Then that time she went overboard. Yes, my parents did teach me to be respectful to others, but they did not teach me to become an idiot and get stepped over by people who whack me over unreasonable things! I have a limit to my patience too! Do not worry, I am talking to her again. No point holding grudge. Other than that, I was pretty stressed out with exam, and now that it is over, there were supposed to be a lot of things awaiting for me to be done, but I am sitting at home, relaxing. You got to let me do it, as I got sick during exam preparation and the doctor said I lacked rest and gave me Vitamin C! ^^V

Work - I am officially a permanent staff of LANXESS with effective from 1st July 2011! Cheers for me!! I can stop counting down to my months left in LANXESS. Ecstatic? Yes, definitely! Esther and Siew Eng had left - which is kind of sad. Especially for Esther's case. She was like my "shi jie" (senior) and taught me so much. But there are times when I got to stand up on my own and be strong. I have a lot of things to get done on the coming Monday. I was back in the office last Friday after my exams on Thursday, my weak body and tired mind did not allow me to be really efficient. Especially now that I have taken over Esther's work, which requires quite a little of logical thinking. Remember: what doesn't kill me makes me a stronger person! I have definitely been through worst! A little of hardwork and dedication will get me further ahead. I love the fact that now that exam is over, I can focus more on my work.

Oh no, I need to lose weight. I have been eating lots of junks at home, which was definitely unhealthy, during my exam period. I could not be bothered to go to the nearest food court nearby (which is 5min walk away) during my revision period. Imagine: having to get dressed, put on sunscreen to grab some decent food and by the time I get home, I will need to nurture my motivation to study again. Totally not good, especially for a superb procrastinator like me. Let's hope that I will get my butt out of the room later to jog... let's try to make it a 3 times per week thing, shall we? And Quaker's instant oatmeal for dinner? Does it sound good?

All the best to me in whatever I do...
Lots of love to all, and especially to my family whom I miss dearly!
(Yes, I still get homesick!!!)

P.S. My mom is taking her citizenship examination by end of June 2011. It will be an exam in Malay, inclusive of summaries, proverbs, composition, comprehension and poems. I wish her all the best! Hugs, ma!! You are the greatest mom, you are doing this for us, I know! Hope you get through this! Love you, Ma!!!