Monday, September 25, 2006

Vietnam: Rough Plan

OK, made rough plans for my Vietnam adventure. Still in the midst of researching the finer details (e.g. if I should take the train or the bus from city to city, and how long I’d stay in each) but for now, this is what my IDEAL trip would look like.

6th Oct

Explore city on rental motorbike of cyclo
Catch water puppet show

7th Oct
Go on 2D / 1N local tour to Halong Bay; stay the night on a boat

8th Oct
Back to Hanoi
Make way up to Sapa
Take 2D / 1N local tour trekking up into the highlands
Homestay with tribal community

9th Oct
More trekking?
Check out handicraft
If I like the place might extend stay

10th Oct
Travel to Hué (looks damn far man)
Stay a night

11th Oct
Travel to Hoi An
Stay a night

12th Oct
Travel to Danang(might skip this)

12th Oct
Travel to Cu Chi to check out the tunnels.

13th Oct
Back to Hanoi

14th Oct
Fly back to Singapore


Extend stay and travel to Ho Chi Minh after Cu Chi. Stay a night, then cross over to Phnom Penh via Mekong Delta (heard the 2D / 1N tour is pretty good). Catch flight straight to KL from Phnom Penh.

What a Small World Indeed!

Was browsing through Hospitality Club, trying to get in touch with members in Shanghai so that I'll at least know a few people there and will actually NOT have to stay home on weekends that first month of so (I'm being optimistic here), when I received a friendly e-mail from someone in Germany (never met the guy) saying that if I was ever in Germany again, that I could drop him a line and he'd take me around. (You'll understand why once you figure out what the Hospitality Club is all about). We got to chatting and it turns out he lived in Sabah when he was little (same tiny town I was born in), and that our dads worked in the same plantations!! Well not really the same plantations but same area. Both our dads were in cocoa and they might actually know one another! How freaky is that! Been chatting with him for over an hour and so far he doesn't seem to be a weirdo, so wahey! I've made another friend! I love the Hospitality Club!

Saturday, September 23, 2006


This whole Vietnam business came about by pure accident. I'd won travel vouchers for a tour package at my company DnD last month and gave them to parents to use as they pleased. (I suggested Vietnam). They were quite happy until they realised that it was a huge hassle since the flight departs from Singapore (they're in KL). So I was left with the vouchers. Then it hit me... why don't I go instead!? DUH! I still find it hard to believe that despite all my eagerness to travel I have yet to set foot in any country North of Malaysia. So managed to entice a compadre to split $500 worth of travel vouchers and backpack (I know it seems a little odd - travel vouchers and backpacking, but I have a plan) through the country that brought us the oh-so exquisite 'ao dai' and 'Pho'. We plan to fly on the 7th of October which really doesn't leave us much time to prepare. And considering the fact that I don't have a backpack, and neither do I have trekking shoes, 2 weeks suddenly seems really really short.

Mu initial plan was to just buy a 3D / 2N free-and-easy package (hence utilising my vouchers) but the more I thought about it and the more I read I knew I'd regret not staying longer. L. will have to be back in Singapore by Tues, and C & F want to stay for a max of 1 week. Still not enough for me. Am thus contemplating on carrying on as far South as I can (dare) on my own. Just worried that I wouldn't be prepared enough. BUT IT'S SO EXCITING!

Stumbled upon a Vietnam based tour company that sets up short guided tours around Vietnam, guaranteeing visits to non-touristy sites and adventure trips like trekking and kayaking and homestays with the highland tribes. My god they look so fun! I want to do them all!!! I'm really looking forward to going up to Sapa and doing the whole homestay bit and putting up on a boat as we cruise Halong Bay, not to mention all the kayaking that I can do. Also, am challenged to renting a scooter and ride around Hanoi. I'm so up for it man! sigh... I can't wait!!!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Good Morning Vietnaaaaaaaam!!!!

And that's exactly what I'll be saying on the 8th of October 2006 - for at least a week! I can't wait! Not really decided which parts to visit yet, but will definitely start in the North, entering via Hanoi and, time and mulah permitting, work my way down to Central Vietnam. Did I say I couldn't wait?! *grin*

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


After almost a week of wanton indulgence in good food and alcohol, my body has begun protesting. General lethargy aside, my tummy has been giving subtle hints as to being in great and urgent need of some TLC (i.e. a healthier diet). Well, I guess it'll do me good to NOT ignore my body, so I've placed myself on a detox diet and a vegetarian diet. (translation: Absoultely NO meat of any kind. But seafood and eggs are ok) *GRIN* I see it as a sort of challenge, for going without meat for even 2 days is REALLY REALLY DIFFICULT for me. I swear I start showing signs of withdrawal if my meat supply is interrupted. But 5 days into my 'diet' and I'm must say I'm quite proud of myself! Not a single piece of beef, chicken or pork, has passed through my lips. I even turned down a BITE of pizza because there was meat on it. I've also come to realise that being a pseudo-vegan ain't all that bad. My tummy has certainly settled for one, and second of all, I don't get all sleepy after meals anymore - a chronic condition I've faced my whole life, thus earning the nickname 'The Python' courtesy of my daddy. :p Nevertheless, please wish me luck on my journey to healthy living as I have a sneaky feeling my enthusiasm and determination will wane sometime next week and the gorgeous smell of Nasi Tomato with chicken rendang will just wreck havoc on my will power... sigh

On Soul Mates

“... People think a soul mate is your perfect fit... But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that’s holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they’ll tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with your soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave.”

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert pg 149

Gives a whole new perspective on the whole idea of Soul Mates, huh... ;)

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Princess cut or round cut?

Received an SMS from an ex-University buddy asking if I could please lend him my female opinion with regards to buying a ring. I happily agreed until it was made clear to me that my 'expertise' was needed to aid in the procuring of THE RING! My first thought was "OMG, what an honour and privilage" followed almost instantly by "OMG how stressful!" I'll be helping this already flustered guy decide which ring to spend $x on and pray that the object of his affections would love it. Needless to say, I had a fabulous time hopping from one jewellery store to another and 'modelling' the rings. And how did he base his decisions? On whether I sat or stood while trying on the rings, whether I squealed in delight or look unimpressed, and the length of time I left the ring on. It took us the whole of 2 hours and revisits to the short listed stores, but he decided on one eventually and is now $8000 poorer. His next dilemma now is should he propse underwater during a dive or on the beach under the stars... DECISIONS DECISIONS! But I love it! *SQUEAL*

*I am now an expert on diamonds and the 4Cs hahahaha*

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

New Beginnings

I am not one for making resolutions, especially not on New Year’s Eve. If you ever hear me make one, I can assure you that it was done in the spirit of things. (I never keep to them anyway, so why bother). And this year was no different, New Year’s Eve came and went like any other day, except the fact that I couldn’t help wishing I could relive the 31st of December in 2003, one of the best New Year’s Eves ever. But there’s no point wishing for something that you can’t have again, a habit that I'd unthinkingly fallen into.

And so, I’ve decided to make a birthday resolution: to sort and store my what-was and had-beens for the last 26 years and make space for the next.

But first, I need 2 boxes, one that I wrap with shiny red paper that has star-bursts on it, and the second, deep-blue metallic paper paired with a gold ribbon.

That done, I take a walk down memory lane.

I revisit all my favourite moments; walking home at midnight after a movie, hand in hand with the person who’d captured my heart; strolling along the streets of Paris; in my bathroom in tears of joy when I found a surprise that was waiting for me; holidaying in Bintan; learning to drive; my first kiss; my first slow-dance; running in the rain; it’s a long list…

A montage of my happiest times slowly float by back to back as though on a film reel. And at each one I pause and allow myself to step back in time and immerse myself in the emotions of that moment, grateful for having had the chance to experience them: Once done, I line them up neatly in the red box with star bursts, close the lid and store them away… someplace accessible of course, so that I can look through them whenever I choose.

Next, and the more difficult of the two: To look past disappointments and hurts in the face, cry over them, accept them, cry over them some more and then let them go once and for all. It is not easy, but I am not alone. I have a comforting voice on the other end of the line and I make it through. I don’t erase them though. Why should I? They played a big part in making me who I am today. I’d like to think that I’m stronger, that I’ve learnt from my mistakes. I stack them up in my gold-ribboned box instead. They deserve a pretty box too, just one with a tight knot over the top.

And so for the first time in a long long while, I’ve fulfilled a resolution. And I feel as light as air. I’ve laid all my demons to rest, and filled my treasure boxes to the brim with beautiful memories. It’s now time to begin a brand new year. My 26th. And I can’t wait!

Saturday, September 09, 2006


I have finally lost it. That guy has said his last condescending word to me and it was all I could do to bite my tongue and yell "FUCK YOU AND FUCK THE PERFORMANCE!". But I'm a professional and there were customers around (BLEH!!!) Anyhoo, I knew I wouldn't be able to get up on that stage with him and pretend to be all happy happy, so I grabbed one of the directors by the arm and had a little chat with her. I was glad to hear that I'd raised some very valid points (I was afraid I was making a big fuss over little things because of the tension between us) and that the matter would have to be brought up to the principal. I later found out that he's been stepping on ALOT of toes lately so I'm not the only one seething with rage. But I'm gonna put all that behind me now and enjoy myself tonight and the Dinner & Dance by taking full advantage of the free alcohol. WOOHOO!!!!

Conversations in My Head...

Condition: somewhat tipsy after several bottles of Cobra beer (I know, can it sound any more dodgy??)

Location: In my bed
In attendance: Voices #1 and #2

Time: 0230hrs

#1: Oooh.. need sleep. Long day later. Must be... ZZZZZZZZZ


Time: 0530hrs

#2: Pssst... wake up!

#1: mmmmghphhh...

#2: *prod prod* Wakey wakey...

#1: mmmmghphhh... wha...? It's still early, what you go wake me up for?

#2: Really? It's early? How do you know? I should check the time.

#1: No, No! Don't check the time...
Arrrghhhhh!!! Bright light! Eyes hurting! Why did you check the time?
It's all your fault *SMACK*

#2: Hehehe... well since you're awake, what shall we talk about?

#1: No, no! I'm tired! Long day later. Must be alert for performance.
Dinner n Dance tonight. Must be good Marilyn Monroe...

Go back to sleep...


#2: Hey, there's an itch in the throat department. How annoying.

#1: Just clear your throat and it'll go away.

#2: I have a better idea, how bout if we really focus on the itch and see how long it'll take you to get up for some water.


itch still there

*swallow swallow*

itch still there

*swallow swallow swallow*

itch not gone!


#1: Oh alright I'll get some water!

*Fumbles in the dark for glass of water. Drink. Fall back into bed*


*Drip drip drip*

#2: Psst... hear that?

#1: You've got to be kidding me! Please go back to sleep!
Look, the body is motionless, the eyes are closed.
All you need to do is SHUTUP!


#2: Hey remember that guy who kept hitting on all the girls?

He so desperately wanted to get laid!

#1: Hahaha! Yeah. He was a good dancer though...

NO! I'm not getting into this conversation!


#2: I'm so glad I went out last night, otherwise I wouldn't have made all those lovely friends.

#1: Oh yes! What were the odds of meeting people like Shyla and Arjun who attend tea dances!

#2: And they love karaoke-ing as well! Woohoo!!!
It just sucks to know that I'll only have 1.5 months to enjoy their company before I leave :( BLEH!

#1: Yeah... And don't forget Juan and Balli.

They're fun too... in the alcohol binging kinda way. hehehe.

#2: It's such expensive fun though :p

#1: Which is why we go to places like The PoW where beers are good and cheap and Cobra beer even cheaper!

And we don't have to deal with the hoity toity yuppies in their Armani suits and Hugo Boss ties.

#1: *giggle*... Can I go to sleep now?

#2: Ok. G'nite!

Oh, don't forget to blog about that conversation you had with Alex just now.
The one about Superman being a cheapskate... heehee... that was funny.

#1: k. Did you realise that you know 4 Alexs??





Monday, September 04, 2006


I broke one of the Cardinal Rules... I'm hopeless! Wish I could die right now :(

Sunday, September 03, 2006

How Frustrating...!

My move has been postponed... YET AGAIN! I'm getting quite sick of it really, but there isn't much I can do. It's not like I'm dying to leave Singapore, just that I've been mentally preparing myself to leave, and trying to plan my weeks so I can say goodbye to all my friends as well as rush around sorting out documents and stuff. And to make matters worse, I just found out that I'm gonna be homeless again! Arrrghhhh... My boss rang me up this morning to say that she needs her place back coz she forgot that she'd promised it to her cousins for when they come down on the 20th of Sept! If we'd stuck to the original plan, I wouldn't be here by then. But now I am! Bleh!!!

On a happier note, I have to clear all my leave before the 30th of Oct, which means I get a total of 3 weeks to burn! Woohoo! The perfect amount of time for a holiday in Europe. Unfortunately, now that I'll have to start paying rent again, I probably won't have the cash on such short notice. Oh well, heard one can move around Thailand on very little... *grin* We'll see...

Saturday, September 02, 2006

The Learning Curve

This morning I was asked to cover a class that I'd never taught in my life and used to only assist in like 2 years ago. You could say it was a very interesting one hour seeing how I wasn't sure how the class was supposed to be run. And I knew I was in trouble when one of the 2 year-olds had to tell me what the next portion of the class was. Crap... Oh well, at least now I'll never forget how to run this particular programme ;p


One of the most difficult situations you can be in is a drama with someone whom you just don't have any chemistry with and absolutely cannot stand! arrghhh!! And I have to suffer him for another 4 days... HELP!!

*I've got blue eyebrows from the makeup I had on earlier today for the drama... AND IT WON'T COME OFF!!! I look like one of those middle aged women with fading tattooed eyebrows. Arrrrghhhh!!!*