Nope I am not a guy

A few weeks back the boss experimented a new dish for us to try. It was pumpkin with mayo yogurt sauce (and something else that made the dish sibei sour) 

Female Colleagues: Eh not bad leh!…. Texture is like potato but is not potato…Most women would prefer pumpkin leh. Potato got a lot of carbs.

Me trying to overcome the disbelief: Huh i seldom eat pumpkin leh. I prefer potato.

Female Colleagues: 哎呀你根本就是男生嘛!!! (You are a guy anyway!)

It’s the 26472846 time that my gender orientation is put into contestation. Okay I like male-dominated interests like watching soccer, dragon boating and army life. My next life goal after my graphic design course ends is to pick up krav maga. I prefer wearing shorts than skirts. I find it easier to talk to guys than girls. 

But on the other side of the spectrum…I wear makeup. I like girly things like floral patterns and buying accessories at Bugis Street. Yes I still do girly things like switching on my fan-girl mode when my favourite star appears on tv. 

Nope I am not a guy. Period.

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Dilly Ding Dilly Gone 

Kinda shocked that Leicester City fired their manager due to the club’s abysmal performance this season. From champions of the premier league to 17th position within a span of 9 months. The league is madness.

Many soccer fans have been slamming the club for sacking the man who propelled them from an unknown position to playing in the champions league. Everyone’s favourite club last season – a club’s symbolising fairy tales and miracles, is now everyone’s hated club- a snake that bit the hand that fed them.

Looking at the bigger picture, most managers who helped the club win the league also ended up sacked. 

Moral of story: Dont become a victim of your own success. The tides will change.

Jan 2017

Haven’t updated for ages. January was a happening and hectic month for me, both in terms of work and personal. Can’t believe that tomorrow will be CNY eve already (Okay CNY this year was early). Everything is happening so fast…

Work

In all honesty I had difficulties adjusting from the “8 hours outlet” to “8 hours (sometimes OT) office” lifestyle. I used to work night shift and end the day at 11pm, and so my biological clock would be still asleep at 9am. Seriously it was tough for me to wake up early in the morning because I have been acclimatized into an “afternoon person” but you just gotta have to get up. (I know during Basic Training we had to book in at 6.30am but that’s another story)

We finally opened our 7th outlet on 11th Jan. Had been assigned to design the outlet’s touchpoints ranging from the lightbox to overhead menu board to the table stand to the name card yadda yadda. I have never designed anything that major before and it took me a bloody long time to come up with ideas and figure out how Illustrator works. Trying to understand the printer language in graphic design was like communicating to aliens. To start off I didn’t even know that I have to convert the file into CMYK instead of RGB when sending the file for print.

The whole process of outlet opening was a tight deadline coupled with tempers flaring, emotions erupting, patience running etc. But it also taught me a lot of things related to my personal growth like keeping my confidence afloat even though my 面子 is gone.

Enough said, here are some shots of the outlet. As of now I still have one more major obstacle to go – to design a menu for the lightbox located outside the outlet because the opening promotion has ended. Currently I am running dry of ideas because I didn’t have enough input for my constant output.

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Had to rush out the collateral for CNY too. During uni days it was all about writing essays to argue your ideas. Now it’s about using images to communicate our values to customers. But to see your work being printed out, distributed and seen by public, it felt more satisfying as compared to printing chunks of text which will only be read by the prof. I am not sure how impactful the posters and all can persuade and touch (触动) a customer, but as long as a passer-by can stop and take a look, that’s all that I ask for.

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And… I finally got my first name card. Still a long way to go, but I believe that I have already came far from where I first began. During the first week of work I couldn’t count money for shit. I got so stressed up and hated myself when the sales didn’t tally and there was a shortage incurred. Fast forward, I am thankful for everything that has happened along the way, regardless good or unpleasant.

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Personal

Started dragonboat with the safvc after my qualification training ended. Never imagined myself getting into this sport because I dislike the outdoors but nothing ventured nothing gained. I need the physical activity anyway because of all the OT and sedentary office lifestyle so I had to shake up my physiology a bit and soak up some sun.

Also started attending Graphic Design & Adobe Illustrator course by First Media Design School on Tue and Thur nights because of the inefficient way I had been using Illustrator. So far it’s still on the theory part like branding, creative brief etc. A little different from what I expected because I was sort of expecting design theory/what color to best use for what etc but it never hurts to learn more.

Went back for open classes at sdt last week for the first time since forever. I haven’t been doing ballet classes for more than half a year! I swear I was half dead not even at the halfway mark of the lesson, but it was great to be dancing again. Ballet is just one of those things that is impossible for me to eradicate out of my life even though I will never be a professional.

Food 

Having been turning into a part-time vegetarian more often because I would also settle my dinner at the outlet before going for class. The Paya Lebar outlet sells porridge and the Bai Ye tofu is bombz. I can totally feast on that everyday.

Oh and ever since my design teacher showed us an ex-student’s project of a re-designed Vodka Mudshake’s label, I bought 1 carton home just to try (they come in a set of 4). It’s only 4% abv (boooo) but my mum should be proud that I am not drinking beer.

Relationship 

What’s that?

 

Xmas 2016

So it’s xmas today.

Not like it would have made a big difference to me this year actually. I have to work at the outlet later.

But as long as customers enjoyed themselves and have a memorable xmas connecting with their family and friends, I am happy.

People usually shun F&B jobs because of reasons you and I know –  The hours don’t justify the income, demanding & fussy customers, need to work on weekends & public holidays etc etc. But for me the rewards are on the intangible side – The smiles, the satisfaction, the human connection (Provided if you have put in your heart to serve lah). 

It feels real and down-to-earth, because everyone needs to eat. The opportunity to fill your tummy with food, added with the special ingredient of the presence of your loved ones…The thought and imagery of the whole experience makes the moment a comforting one.

This year was just a celeration at Paya Lebar and Westgate. (I have more days & workload at the office now). No more crazy escapades like riding on a motorbike and trekking to see a waterfall in Palawan with someone whom I only knew for less than 20 days. As long as it makes my heart warm, I am happy enough, no matter how simple it is.

Oh ya tomorrow is supposedly a public holiday but I have to work. Maybe I have to erase the word “Tired” in my dictionary.

We don’t talk anymore

 

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I guess that is the saddest thing that can happen after you go on separate ways from someone who was previously significant in your life.

After we called it quits, there were times when i look back at the moments when we were together. I felt really guilty for how I took things for granted and letting the negativity overpower me.

But on second thought… the whole experience did teach me to look out for what I do not want in a relationship.

Some persuaded me that there is a chance to reconcile, while others comforted me that there will be someone better.

Part of me is already dead towards this relationship, while another part feels hopeful, albeit a little. Sometimes my heart still aches whenever I go down memory lane. Does he feel the same?

I feel so conflicted.

03/16 BMT Part 1 of 3

Way overdue. 

Was supposed to be part of the SAFVC 02/16 batch but an untimely fever came 2 days before enlistment so I had no choice but to defer to the 03/16 batch. 

That aside, I can now finally declare that I have graduated from basic training! 

On Mondays to Fridays and Sundays, I am a civilian living the 3-11pm work hours (some days 9-6), but on Saturdays, I am a volunteer soldier. Talk about a double identity. Some weeks I look forward to Saturdays, some weeks I have the pre-book in blues. But I had to remind myself Why are you feeling the dread? Why did you sign up in the first place?

And the answer is because… I hope to pay it forward by being part of the group that protects the country. 

Anyway, here is part 1 of our 9 weeks of modular training in a nutshell. 

Week 1: enlistment 

Mostly administrative stuff and getting used to SAF lingo. But before settling down, we had to go through the rite of passage of taking the SAF pledge in front of our loved ones which sealed our fate as part of the volunteer corps. Instead of “see you in 2 weeks”, we said “see you tonight” to our families.

Going through every single SAF issued item in our duffel bag, field pack and getting to know our uniform was overwhelming because there are so many foreign looking objects I have never seen before. Highlight of the day was lugging our heavy barang onto our bunks at the 4th floor, whereas the males occupied the 2nd and 3rd floors. Nabeh.

Another thing was to familiarise ourselves with the drill commands, standing in a squad and learning how to march in step in preparation for our graduation parade. As compared to the drills I did in military band during secondary school, it was much simpler due to time constraints. 

Also arranged our bunks according to the standard manner. Our section commander (1WO) is really approachable and everyone started talking to her in a very chummy civilian way. 

Started the day at 9.30am, ended at 11.30pm. It felt like a really long day, but it’s only the beginning. 

Week 2 

First activity in the morning was IPPT. We aren’t tested for good nor is there any incentive if you got gold, but it was included in the training for us to gauge our fitness level. Also got introduced to the legendary 5BX.

Next was team building, which is in reality more of expectations setting and what you hope to achieve yadda yadda. 

Then we headed off for some national education. First up was visiting Battlebox and then the to Kranji War Memorial (history again wtf). 

And the main event of the day was receiving our husbands – The SAR21. We held ours at Kranji War Memorial with all the dead soldier souls as our witnesses. And I also learnt that the ceremony is usually held at night to prevent the enemy from knowing that the soldiers receiving the weapons are a bunch of newbies. 

Anyway we were presented with our rank and had to snatch the rifle from the commander to show that we have to earn it with our efforts. Also we had to shout “with this rifle I will defend my country ma’am” and recite another pledge. I finally felt how 3.5kg felt like, but 3.5kg was only a number. Our husbands weigh of responsibility….and sometimes a burden. 

Week 3

Started off the day with aerobic and strength training at the parade square, which meant rough floors. Doing push-up was the most jialat for us females because we had to put our knees on the floor. Some of us tried to do the guys style but got told to put our knees down. Sweated buckets but it felt good. 

The rest of the day was spent with our husband, learning how to strip (no this is not a sex scene) and assemble so that we will be proficient in handling the rifle and subsequently progress on. Initially I caught no ball during the theory part. The weather was so humid that i wanted to sleep and we were all tired out by the morning PT. In the end I kalang kabok during the hands on session and the instructor singled 3 of us out for remedial. 

Long story short, we were all able to handle the rifle at the end of the day. Moral of the story: The SAR21 is actually quite idiot proof. 

Did I also mention that we had to do the technical handling drills in our ILBV and helmet? For a first time wearer, it was really suffocating and the helmet made me 50% stupid…when I am already stupid enough. 

Basically to pass your technical handling test, you just have to keep doing and doing and doing until it becomes muscle memory. Yeah true that you need to know a bit of theory… but not too much actually. Just go with the age-old adage called “Don’t think just do!”

My wrist ached like crazy the next day due to overexertion while cocking the rifle, and suffered a few bruises. But from zero to being able to handle a weapon, it was a productive day. 

Stay tuned for part 2 and 3. Sorry this has to be all text because we weren’t allowed to share our training photos elsewhere.