What I did in the past 365 days! Overall 2016 was a relatively good year, though of course I hope next year will be much better! (Text in italics were the goals I had set for this year at the end of the last.)
Archive for the 'adventures' Category
Rushing to NUS for a 9 am lesson and ending up being late (thankfully, a few others were even later than I was!) certainly brought back memories of the bad ol’ days. Reliving horrid history aside, my very first Kristang lesson this morning was a blast.
At one point, I asked the teacher Kevin if Kristang had any inflections, and he said no, which made it quite simple to learn (which means that it’s probably an analytic language). During the break, one middle-aged lady (who works at the university) told me she thought I was a teacher when she heard me ask about inflections. Haha!
We also played a number of fun games to reinforce the grammar. One was going over to another group to ask them what languages they spoke – all in simple Kristang, of course Our guest teacher, an elderly Eurasian called Mr Bernard Mesenas, commented that I was very serious during this activity, which was very good. :D
(And this is the first time I’m doing a ‘third’ language, not counting studying Japanese at the Ministry of Education Language Centre way back when I was in Secondary 1. The journey from the centre to home was long and tiring, and I gave up the ghost after four months of twice-weekly lessons.)
Way back in my previous life as an linguistics undergrad, I learnt about Kristang, a highly endangered creole spoken mainly by Eurasians of Portuguese descent in Singapore and Malaysia. (I am not one myself.) If I remember correctly, I had toyed with the idea of writing about the language for my ISM paper, but I obviously didn’t speak it nor know anyone who could. Eventually I focused on something else instead.
Last month, I came across this article (which was originally found here). The author, Melissa De Silva, mentioned that she’d been attending Kristang lessons conducted by undergrad Kevin Martens Wong, and best of all, the second round of classes would be starting soon! What an incredible opportunity! Naturally I emailed Kevin to sign up.
Yesterday, Kevin sent all of us an extremely comprehensive email to ‘clear up outstanding administrative matters, and to provide you with details about getting to class and what to bring’. (Word informed me that it was actually 3489 words – much longer than most of the essays I had to write in university! LOL.) Reading it made me quite excited but also a little worried cos I left school eons ago. In her article, Melissa noted that Kevin ‘basically learned Kristang on his own by reading up (and memorising!) the scant available material on the language, such as dictionaries and books and poetry collections written by … Joan Marbeck’, so I’m hoping it won’t be too difficult.
Now, I’m counting down the days to my very first lesson!!! :D
Enjoyed a solitary dinner at Dojo, which specializes in pork burgers, yesterday evening. (It’s located in the Boat Quay area, which has tons and tons of eateries. Gotta return one day to explore the place.) I tried the Hadoken burger, which according to the menu, comprised a ‘luscious pork patty slathered with fiery chilli meat sauce, a slice of cheese, diced onions and crispy bacon, the Asian cousin of the sloppy joe’, with fries on the side ($14). All its flavours and textures melded together to make a delicious symphony. (And the spicy meat sauce wasn’t spicy at all!)
(For plenty of pictures, click here!)
I still think pork is superior to beef. Biting into a beef burger often feels primal, but biting into a pork burger is somehow always…… refreshing.
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An analysis what I did in 2015……!!! (Text in italics were the goals I had set for this year at the end of the last.)
Tried to go out every weekend instead cooping up at home. Ate at at least one new place every month (usually alone). Initiated meetups with friends whenever possible. Held a couple of gatherings for the members of a personal finance Whatsapp group I am in. (Mostly guys and quite a fun bunch!) Had resigned myself to being an eternal inviter and never an invitee, but lo and behold! In November, Gabriel invited me to a cookout lunch at his place. He and his co-organizer truly have an eclectic group of friends indeed!
So after my counting agent duties ended around 11 pm last night, I rushed home, only to realize they were still announcing the sample counts! A while later, the actual results came trickling in slowly, waves of white one after another….. even recapturing Punggol East. Hougang stays blue. At 1.30 am, it was announced that a recount for Aljunied was underway. More results. Finally, about ten past three in the morning, it was official: Aljunied will remain blue too. The People’s Action Party (PAP) won 83 out of 89 seats with 69.86% of votes. (And the Workers’ Party took the other six seats.) Definitely a freak election result even by PAP’s expectations!
And next, the Opposition’s response. As my friend Zhi Yang posted on Facebook, ‘Who will quit? Who will change party? Who will break off to start new ones? Let the game of musical chairs begin once more.’
Dusk is falling, and there’s about an hour to go before polling ends……
Channel NewsAsia has just said: ‘According to the Elections Department, as of 5pm, 2,085,676 out of 2.46 million Singaporeans expected to head to the polls for the country’s 12th General Election have turned up to cast their votes.’
Getting ready to go to the counting centre for my counting agent duties!
This afternoon, I finally concluded that I should volunteer to be a counting agent at Polling Day tomorrow. It was a pretty last minute decision! (When I told my friends SY and Daph via Whatsapp, the former replied, ‘Thanks for contributing to our democracy’.) Quickly dropped NSP an email, and a couple of hours later, they replied and asked me to come down to their office anytime from then.
So earlier this evening, I bussed down to their headquarters to sign up. Had to wait more than an hour for their lawyer to come back because he had apparently gone to Macpherson for something. He was so cute! After I had finally sworn my oath, I asked, ‘Are you doing this pro bono?’ And he responded, ‘Yes, and so are you!’ I gave him a slightly sad look :( and said, ‘But I’m not a lawyer!’ He smiled in reply.
I tried a McFlurry for the very first time in my life this afternoon. (If I recall correctly, McDonald’s introduced introduced it here when I was in upper primary school.) They had a few special flavours, but I decided on their standard Oreo McFlurry. The ice cream was light and airy, and not very sweet. I wondered if they used the same ice cream as the one in their chocolate and strawberry sundaes, just with more air incorporated – but then perhaps not, since the McFlurry ice cream tasted a little different. And the crumbled Oreos added a nice crunch. In all, not too bad, but I’d rather waste my calories on other desserts instead!
Started my next adventure at a tech startup located in a warehouse in Toa Payoh. I didn’t know what to expect at first. The whole team is small, super young, and dresses really casually. (I wore heels today and shall be opting for flat shoes come next week!) And they’re usually all guys, but are having four females out of five interns for the next few months – three undergrads from the National University of Singapore (one is male) and two MBA candidates from the University of Oslo. Their office (really just one large room) is a confluence of organized chaos. There’s really a lot to learn, and I really feel like a fish out of water…… I hope I can make magic here!!! :D
So yesterday afternoon I placed a buy order for OCBC on the Phillip POEMS online platform, but alas, it was not fulfilled by the end of the trading day and hence cancelled. So after work, I immediately made another order for OCBC for the following day. But I decided to set it at a slightly lower price, even though I thought that I was unlikely to get it.
Then at 9.12 am this morning, I received an email informing me that my order had been executed completely at the price I had requested! And thus I officially bought my first online lot! (Had officially bought my very first lot, via broker assistance, last month!)
And with this purchase, I have finally collected the full set of all three local banks. Felt a bit like queuing up at McDonald’s for Hello Kitties. Gotta catch ’em all! :D
Finally gave up using my malfunctioning Samsung phone and bought a Asus Padfone S (in white) from Best Denki in a mall near my home. It has a 16GB internal memory, so hopefully I’ll have tons of space for everything. It was going for $399 but managed to get it at $299…… the first ever phone I’ve bought with my own $$$!!!
Visited my friend Joanne, ate lots of nice food, learnt how to play baccarat, and my wallet was $5 lighter after the game ended a few hours later. :D
Early this month, I (temporarily) deactivated my Phillip Share Builders Plan. Then yesterday afternoon, sometime after 1 pm, I noticed that one of the share counters I was looking at, DBS, had dropped to a reasonable price. So I called one of my brokers and purchased one lot. It was a swift but exciting affair! And now, I’m looking forward to buying my first lot on my own via one of the online platforms!