Liason officer for a week

ASEAN+3 acara selasai pada hari Juumat. Saya ada pengalaman yang memperkaya faham tentang negara Brunei oleh bercakap dengan orang delegasi. Biasanya, saya jarang membaca berita Brunei jadi saya tidak tahun banyak tentang negara Brunei. Mereka pergi ke Singapura banyak kali untuk bercuti tetapi saya juga menikmati memberitahu mereka negara Singapura.

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Apabila saya bercakap dalam bahasa melayu, saya berkata perkataan banyak salah sebab saya pulang terlupa cikgu saya mengajar saya apa. Nasib baik, mereka tidak minda saya bercakap buruk. Di lapangan terbang, mereka berkata mereka akan mel saya buku cerita dalam bahasa melayu jadi saya boleh berlatih.

Sekerang, saya sangat penat terutama kaki saya! Pada hari Khamis, semua delegasi dan officer liason pelajar pergi ke taman botanik dan Gardens by the Bay jadi kami jalan banyak.

Okay I was blogging in Malay, something which I havent done in ages. The ASEAN+3 event ended on Friday and I had an enriching experience learning about Brunei through chatting with the delegates. Prior to the event I seldom pay attention to Brunei affairs. Only knew that they are an oil rich country lol. Anyway the delegates also came to Singapore many times usually for holiday or for visit but still it was a good opporunity sharing with them more stuff about Singapore from local perspective.

Made many blunders while talking in malay cos I returned what the teacher taught us. Well for the important stuff I used english while conversation wise I just bombed all sorts of malay words I could remember and directly translated them from english. While sending the delegates to the airport, they told me they will air mail malay storybook so that I can practice my malay.

Damn tired now. I feel as though I can concuss anywhere except during dance.

Gambar!

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Abrupt ending. I need to catch up with tutorial readings because I spent my study time sleeping away lol. And still got another 101 things to settle.Jumpa lagi!

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Hi world- short update

Next week is busy week cos it is the asean+3 event. Still I will be going for tutorials as and when, just in case I miss something out. And the first tutorial of next week is 8am. I think I better go refresh my memory about the article content after finishing this post because I started reading it a few days back. 

Anyway I got another stye for the past week. On Fri it was the worst. I just did the usual of applying salt water on the bump. Then after ballet on Sat it popped a little on my way home (!) but it is still swelling a bit as of now. It is the worst stye I ever had so far. Painful, vision slightly blocked, 脱皮 (literally skin dropping off), even de-swelling is taking quite a while. 

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“You better not piss me off if not I will shoot pus at you from my eye”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In conclusion- dancing makes miracles. 

Ok that is some crap doctor advice. 

On Thurs Cristofori staff took my piano for trade in. I don’t feel any sadness whatsoever even though that piano grew up with me and was indispensable in my music journey. Maybe because I am still feeling unmotivated and I havent been practising as frequently I used to. When I told my piano teacher about having no piano for the next 3 months, she panicked. Really. Meanwhile my mind was just “Whatever” (with rolling eyes).

Can’t wait for ballet exam to be over as well. 2 more weeks! Feeling kind of bored doing the same syllabus but overall the process is enjoyable and I will continue to make the best out of it (amidst the friendly competition tsk). And I have been neglecting grade 7 work (exam is next year march omg) so I have to go back for extra lesson on Sundays once Sept’s exam is done. 

That’s like 4 lessons a week!

I don’t know how I am going to manage but I will manage somehow.

Oh and that means I cant serve as accompanist for the church choir anymore because the timing clashes. Uhhh given the state of mind now of course I am glad because the last thing I ever want to do on earth is to play the piano. But I think any person passionate about piano will stone me if they read this. 该死. 

Last of all… SIN. Some dancers are anorexic. But not for this case. 

 

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Wondering how I am going to stay awake tomorrow in 8am class because I always wake up at 9am. 

And the Mr Muddle award goes to…

YOURS TRULY!

Okay in this case it is “Miss Muddle”

Mr.Muddle

 

I am very disorientated lately. Maybe I havent been sleeping well for the past few nights because I can vividly remember what I dreamt the night before. Probably there are some upcoming problems to deal with, but it cant be so many right?!

Anyway to show you how blur I am, here are some incidents. Go ahead and laugh because I deserve it.

1. A fellow logistics committee member asked for my schedule for 22 August as there will be an event that day so we had to prepare and shift the equipment. He said he has lessons from 1-5pm, which I found it weird because I thought there are usually no lessons on Saturdays. So I told him 22 Aug is a Saturday and I am unable to stay through the whole event as I have dance lesson. Turns out that 22 Aug is FRIDAY!

To be honest I thought the timing for the event was rather uncommon (3-5pm) as most students might be having lessons but oh well it will be really occurring at that time!

part 2: I told him I couldnt confirm what time I can help because I am involved in the ASEAN+3 cultural event and I am not sure if I am down on the last day in case the delegates I am in charge of require me to be around. And guess what? Turns out that 22 Aug is week 2 of the semester, while the ASEAN event is on week 3.

2. Was sorting out my readings for the next 2 weeks and couldnt find the reading by an author. Turns out that it was attached together with another reading. Realise that I forgot to print the first 4 pages and I printed an extra last 4 pages.

3. Before the start of lecture on Thursday, YH was talking about her timetable and that her lessons end at 10pm on Friday (the famous forensic science module). On the way home I absent-mindedly asked her again:

Me: What time do you end tomorrow?

YH: 10

Me: Huh?

YH: 10!

I gave a blank look.

YH: Yeah, 10pm at night!

Me: *feeling damn sheepish* I thought 10am in the morning!

Holy crap it was barely 2 hours ago when she mentioned that her lessons end at 10pm!

4. I confused the timings for my dance lesson and was a grand half an hour late. Fortunately I didnt get yelled at, but felt damn guilty

5. (This is not a very new thing but it value adds my blunders) Screwed up free enchainement as usual. Totally stressed out with this section because I tend to blank out and confuse the step sequence once the music plays. Brain never turns fast enough since 1993. I remember getting scolded by my former teacher for forgetting the steps and never catching it fast enough whenever she taught unseen work.

Seriously I dont know what is going on with my brain. It is only the 1st week of school and I am already in such pathetic state. Wonder how I am able to cope with all the tutorials, mid terms and assignments kicking in as well as the ASEAN event in the 3rd week. If I mess up in front of the delegates I am freaking dead.

ROAR.

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Anyway here are some photo updates. Mostly food.

I realised I didnt post a photo of my haul which I got during national day. Went to shop at Liang Court. Well that’s the closest to Japan already. As of today most of the food has been eaten and digested. The dorayaki is quite nice even though the fillings are the processed kind. Same for the castella cake.

Finally got the Battle Royale novel! Became a fan after watching the movie. The book is freaking thick because it covers the fate of 42 students (unlike hunger games which only has 24 tributes and some districts arent elaborated). Cant wait to read it!

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I think Yamakawa Super also has this but I bought it from a temporary fair by Choco express. It’s great stuff.

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 Not Japan related, but Taiwan. It’s from my dad’s friend. I thought the cartoon buddha was quite cute.

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Meanwhile we are in the midst of packing our stuff as the house will be renovated soon. Whole project is estimated to be about 3 months because everything will be knocked down. We will be sleeping under the overhead bridge We will be staying at my grandma’s house for the time being. Cant imagine all the noise when I study and I will get distracted with my aunts’ pets.

Losing interest in piano

I am severely lacking the drive to practice the piano. The problem has been persisting for quite a long time as far as I can remember. People who know that I am doing my diploma keep asking me to get over with it as soon as possible if not it is a drag on family finances, time and how my efforts will be in vain etc.

To be honest I am aware of the urgency, but I just cannot find the motivation to start practising again. I don’t know how to explain it. Well… on the positive side my teacher is the most patient person I have ever met in my life and most of my repertoire are finalised. But I find it a bore to play the same pieces month after month.

And yes I need to highlight my struggle with choosing the “perfect” Romantic era piece. Till now I have changed it at least 3-4 times because I am a sucker with melody-dominated homophonic pieces and most romantic era music are in this style. Currently I settled on some Chopin Nocturne (see I even forgot the exact title lol) which is more voice-accompaniment style but the cross rhythm (triplet against quavers) was annoying enough. In layman term, you have to split your right and left brain into half and play those damn phrases. To cut the long complain short, I am f***ed by this piece.

Lesson at 8-9pm didn’t make things better anyway. Couldn’t find an available timing on weekend because it is all taken up by ballet.

Recently a church choir member did give me the opportunity to polish up my playing skills by asking me to be an accompanist during their session. I accepted it reluctantly because they are shorthanded of a pianist and he was pretty insistent. But I couldn’t be bothered to practice when I was already feeling so unmotivated. So for the past 2 weeks whenever I hit a wrong note while playing in front of the choir, my mind went “f*** I am not enjoying this at all”.

I want to get the exam over and done with, but lack the inspiration. I do feel bad for not giving in my 110% during lessons and playing for the choir, but I am now stuck in the vicious cycle of  “unmotivated to practice–> bad playing–> feeling discouraged–> feeling unmotivated–> bad playing”.

Not sure if anyone who plays an instrument has such experience. I have to get out of the bad spell!

Practice-Frustation

YAY

I am finally done with the research work for the mobile application! If you have read my 20th May post you would probably have some idea about it.

Not sure when the app will be launched in the app market because the coordinator asked me to ask around for people who might be interested to help. I asked by when and she replied by the end of the year. Oh well I guess it won’t be that soon. I was even telling my friends about it and they told me to inform them once the app is launched.

Through this project I learnt how to appreciate vanishing trades like old-school bakeries and bookstores that are still hanging on in their trade. What is notable is their willingness to adapt to changing times to retain these elements of the past. Once the past is gone, only photos and memories remain. Nothing beats experiencing history than to involve your 5 senses in the actual historical site itself instead of studying academic articles and googling about events.

We often lament that it is a pity to see old things disappear from the Singaporean scene and eulogize them saying how they will be missed and praising their contributions to Singapore history. But when they are still around, do people actually give a damn about their presence?

I sort of became a glutton because the pastries by these traditional bakeries tasted so good! Went back to LE cafe about 4-5 times ever since I wrote about them to get bean curd tarts as requested by my relatives.

And the photo below is Tiong Bahru Galicier Pastry, specialising in Peranakan confectionery and subsequently diversified to selling western pastries. Look at that gula melaka (palm sugar) oozing out from the ondeh-ondeh (balls made from sweet potato or glutinous rice flour rolled with grated coconut).

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Indeed, old is gold. Whoever says that you have to chocolate cupcakes or red velvet cakes from quirky cafes when you have a dessert craving? Okay fine I love red velvet cakes but I am trying to say that old-style pastries taste good as well.

National day tomorrow but I am planning to spend it by contributing to the Japanese economy. Apparently Kinokuniya has a 20% storewide sale till 11 Aug and this is my last chance for retail therapy. Thanks YX for sharing the good news with me.

New semester starting on 11 Aug F***. And F*** I can’t believe it is my 3rd year! Have to survive for 4 months without sdt open class because it is time beat the bell curve again. Went to attend one of the open classes on Monday after I returned from China to try out the floor because ballet exam will be held there on 10 Sept. It was rather enjoyable and I ended up going for the 2nd time. Now I don’t have the time to go anymore! Talk about priorities.

Anyway yesterday the news reported that utown has been listed as a dengue hotspot. Better not wear dark colored clothing next Monday.

Last but not least a selfie.

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Update 9/8: The facebook page for the app is here!
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Shanghai: Paris of the East

As of writing this post I realised I already used up 45% of my gallery space! Kinda worried about it now because my images come in big sizes and I am too lazy to resize them when my posts are picture-heavy. And at least 3-4 photos are about my eye stye.

Anyway… continuing from my trip. I swear this is the last post on China already!

Day 4

(Unrelated to day 4) This is taken on the way to Suzhou.

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If you havent seen this on my instagram already, this is the 南浦大桥 (Nan Pu Bridge). It is the first cable stayed bridge over 400m long. The photo looks less dramatic here because I added some filter to the post.

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Very architecture. Much European. Many windows. Wow. (Doge reference)

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Yes, we are in Shanghai, not some European city.  This area is the Shanghai Financial District. The European architecture from China’s semi-colonial era are now occupied by Chinese banks and other major institutions.

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Here are the modern skyscrapers of the Financial District. At least one new building is built every 3 years and the height just keeps towering over their other counterparts. This one is Shanghai World Financial Centre, tallest building in China until its record was beaten by Shanghai Tower in 2013.

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This is Jin Mao Tower (Gold Prosperity Building). Tallest building in China until 2007  until Shanghai World Financial Centre was completed. Floors 53-87 houses the Grand Hyatt Hotel

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Heading up to the observation deck. Have never visited other observation decks while overseas because I couldn’t be bothered to pay extra to look at scenery, but this was part of the itinerary.

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88 storeys from above! The space shuttle like structure is the Oriental Pearl and TV tower.

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Scenery below consist of more buildings.

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That’s pretty much for day 4 as some time is spent travelling and checking into the hotel and all.

 Day 5

Visited the Shanghai Museum. The architecture takes after an ancient bronze ding. The museum has 10 permanent galleries exhibiting various types of artefacts commonplace in chinese history (calligraphy, ceramics, coins etc), either of narrower time period or evolving thoughout the ages.

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Because chinese history is too long, it is difficult to cover everything in such a short time. So here are some of the galleries visited: The sculpture gallery mainly consists of buddhist statues from the time Mahayana Buddhism came to China. Most sculptures are created during chaotic periods where there was no unified dynasty. The coin gallery displays the evolution of coins from cowrie shells to paper notes.

The ethnic minority gallery showcases the ethnic costume, daily objects and performance masks of the minorities. It is intriguing to see how the minorities are represented in chinese history, especially since china has been grappling how to “classify” and “recognise” ethnic minorities.

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After that visited Jing An temple (Temple of Peace and Tranquility), located right smack in the city at West Nanjing Road. Don’t know much about here because the tour guide just let us wander on our own without explaining anything about this place. So according to the internet the temple was first built in AD247 during the Three Kingdoms period and underwent reconstruction in 2008 (many more relocation and rebuilding in between). The 3 storey pagoda here is for people to throw money as high as they can for good luck.

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This is Xin Tian Di (New Heaven and Earth), a shopping district littered with cafes and designer shops for the affluent. The alleyways are narrow because the layout is modelled after the mid-19 century stone gate and adjoining houses.

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It is pretty quiet in the afternoon but night life is very vibrant here.

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At night was shopping at City God Temple, so do check out the shopping post written earlier about that place.

 Day 6

Visited M50 (50 Moganshan Road). Covered a bit of background in the shopping post (It is such a useful post). Most of the studios are located in a factory like setting as the area used to be a slub mill and artist Xue Song converted the space into art galleries due to the cheap rent. The individualistic styles of the works and the aspirations of the artists makes the place dynamic in an otherwise dull factory exterior.

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Went to Tiaz Zi Fang after that. Shopping part is already covered. The narrow alleyways are similar to the stone gate idea at Xin Tian Di. Tian Zi Fang is a renovated residential area in the former French concession.

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One of the quirky F&B shops with different colored drinks in hospital drip bags.

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At Shanghai Bund at night. This is the view across the Huang Pu River, where skyscrapers have LED attached to them and glow at night. Meanwhile companies take advantage of some of the skyscrapers exteriors and flash advertisements.

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And on the other side are the colonial structures. The clock tower from Shanghai customs house chimes the East is Red to tell the time. Quite amazing to see how China has grown from the sick man of Asia to one of the most influential global players.

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Day 7

Last stop is the China Art Museum located at Shanghai Expo. Most of the expo exhibits from other countries have already been torn down and used for private development. The China Art Museum is housed in the China Pavilion from Expo and is the largest museum in Asia. It lives up to its title because the escalators are really long.

 

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Most artworks here are Chinese modern art that are politically correct. There are also works by notable chinese painters who learnt from european artists.

Visited this exhibit on chinese animation from the 1950s-80s. There are screens showing the animation clip next to the paper cut outs. The cartoons looked really old school, in particular from the way the characters move and how their drawn. The range of animation themes include idiom stories, communist spirit, mythical legends etc.

The ones below are the story of Mr Nan Guo, based on the idiom 滥竽充数 (those who have no actual skills but pretend to be experts), The Winter of  Three Hairs  (San Mao Liu Lang Ji) and Three Monks, based on the ancient proverb “One monk will shoulder two buckets of water, two monks will share the load, but add a third and no one will want to fetch water”. There was a full length screening of Three Monks at the museum. Because the animation technology wasn’t that developed in the late 1970s, the part where the monks walked down the hill was hilarious. Here is the youtube video!

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Over here are artworks with communist theme, in western and chinese painting style. Apart from the usual communist posters, this was quite interesting. Other than that there are also larger-than-life paintings of China’s century of humiliation.

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Yeah after that it was back to the airport and the horrid flight delay.

Overall Shanghai is very forward looking with all the modern skyscrapers and major financial institutions here, but they still keep remnants of the past to remind the world and the people of China’s history, and how China has managed to conquered her century of humiliation. The rather messy fusion of old shophouses, modern buildings, colonial architecture and construction sites gives the city a very original flavour as it shows how the landscape has evolved with changes in history.

Last but not least, this is a harmless political joke. I was singing the song “The East is Red” because I got so fascinated with it after learning that it is the chime of Shanghai Clock tower.

Me: 东方红,太阳升~ (The East is Red, the sun rises)

Friend (who has never heard of the song before): Japan?

It’s gonna get harder before it gets easier

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Didn’t have a good class today. One of my teachers introduced this new way of posture alignment related stuff and it hit my raw nerve because I have been battling this problem for ages and now I have to adapt to yet another method which was just overwhelming.

For one thing, no one else faces the same shit I have (some posture matters) and it is a damn frustrating journey of dealing with it. Especially with exam approaching in about a month’s time. I don’t feel any confident at all now that my thinking has been upsetted. I mean, you can’t step into the exam studio with your teacher supporting you in your back (Not literal here) and telling you to use which particular anatomical muscle right?

I don’t know how else I should narrate about today. Just felt so stressed that it affected my mood.

But I shouldn’t give up at this juncture because I have a lot of motherfuckers to prove wrong-those who laughed at my mistakes. Those who thought I won’t stand a chance of doing well. Those who scorned at my dancing. Meanwhile I have to press on for those who believed in me and encouraged me in some way or another.

Keeping it going!