Sunday, March 29, 2015

This week proves that I have a terrible luck when it comes to queueing. I mentioned about the queue for LKY lying in state yesterday. On Wednesday, I went for Penitential service. I chose a wrong queue which was only served by 1 priest. There was another queue which moved faster because it was being served by 3 priests. I changed queue at the last minute which was not exactly helpful because I was still the last few to remain in the church.

My last confession was 2 years ago and I was looking forward to a good one this year. Obviously that did not happen as I was very irritated about the queue. My irritation was especially towards the wardens. I really have no idea what they were doing. If they had brains, they should realise 1 queue was moving very slowly as compared to the other because they were served by different number of priests. They should do something to even up. That just reinforced my impression that these church volunteers are usually stupid, incapable people who are just there for pride and glory. Idiots! Yes, I left the confession with such thoughts and it was as good as not confessing. Having said that, it is shame of me for saying and having such thoughts. If I really feel that I am better than them, then I should be volunteering my service to church. But nope, that is not going to happen because church people are weird.

Although I have "returned" to church this year, I have not fully returned. In fact for this Lenten, I did not observe any fast or abstinence at all. I see no point in fasting when I am on diet and I only have 1 full meal a day. I don't think I can survive cutting that down. I intended on abstaining from my toy online shopping which obviously did not happen. It was not even possible for me not to open those toy websites for this 40 days. Shame on me! Haiz.. With holy week coming ahead, I don't know if I will have a meaningful Easter this year.

It was pouring heavily this afternoon when LKY's body was brought from the Parliament House to the University Cultural Centre for the state funeral. I am not being a superstitious but usually the passing of great person always coincides with heavy rain. This trend at least happens once a year at every Good Friday around 3pm. That is the historical time when Jesus died on the cross. I had spent Good Friday both in Jakarta and in Singapore and regardless of the geographical location, it always rains. Anyway, I am glad that I went to the Parliament House yesterday. If I planned to pay my last respect by lining on the street today, I would end up not doing so because of the rain. I am still sad that I no longer worked at UCC but I am thankful for the live streaming. There is only 1 thing missing today: I could not hear the sirens from my place!! If there is any national emergency, I guess I will be the first to die!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Great Singapore Queue

This week Singapore mourns for the passing of her founding father, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, on 23 March 2015 at 318am. His body was brought to Istana for 2 days for private wake before being moved to the Parliament House for public to pay their respect. Initially, the lying in state was planned to open only until 8pm daily. However, the support from public was really tremendous that even when the lying in state was changed to 24 hours, the queue grew to as long as 10 hours. Yesterday was the peak that the authority had to close the queue from midnight and only reopened it at 615am this morning.

Considering a lot of negativity from keyboard warriors online, the support for LKY is really beyond expectation. I am not going to say what he has done and what he has been criticised as these are available online. Personally, I think that Singapore is a proof of his life and success, regardless of what people say. Take a look at the facts and compare Singapore with the other countries in South East Asian region. It is simply amazing that the smallest country with zero natural resources can be the most successful nation in the region. Seeing the surrounding nations, I cannot not admire what LKY has done to Singapore. Sadly a lot of Singaporeans are so narrow minded and more foreigners, who have experienced shitty living conditions in their countries of birth, are actually impressed with LKY and what he has done to Singapore. Nothing is perfect in this world and everything has its pros and cons. I prefer a safe and rich country to chewing gums and freedom of speech.

When I was younger, I hated to be here. As I grow older and more understanding to world affair, I am thankful for the opportunity to study and to live here. None of this is possible without LKY and for that, I am really grateful for him and I pray that he rest in peace and God will welcome him into His Kingdom.

Moving on the Queue itself, I planned to go on the wee hours of this morning for a possibility of shorter queue. Anything more than 4 hours is beyond my endurance. Since the queue was closed at midnight, I decided to sleep. I did not sleep well as I kept waking up. Haha.. I woke up at about 8am and read that the queue was reopened at 615am. People were saying that the queue was much faster. I contemplated to go but I decided that my invoices at office was more important. After leaving office, the latest update was 4 hour estimated waiting time. From my friends who went and people who commented on facebook, most of them waited 40% less than the estimated waiting time. This morning/noon, even though the estimated waiting time was 4 hours, people were saying that they finished in 2.5 to 3 hours. I thought this was okay for me and so I went.

I reached City Hall at about 3.45pm. I was so happy that I could breeze through all the way... until Padang when I saw estimated waiting time of 5 hours. Bleah... I stayed at Padang for 2 hours before proceeding towards Esplanade. The organisers were trying to shorten the queue and I got to skip the Marina Bay Floating Platform. It took about 1 hour from Esplanade Bridge towards MBS and then a U-turn back towards the Esplanade Bridge. It was another 1.5 hours from there to the Parliament House and I finished at about 9pm. 5 hours wait just for a 5 seconds bow but I think it was worth the memories. I am grateful for the great weather (no sun and plenty of wind), the opportunity to watch sunset and to explore Singapore on foot in a way that I never did before in my 10+ years here. Some complained that they were being hurried inside the Parliament house after all that queueing. I choose to have the opposite school of thought: there are still tonnes of people queueing so it is better to be quick for the benefit of others too.

This event also brought the good sides of Singaporeans which are often drowned with all the negative uncivilised acts reported in media. I would like to say a big thanks to the organisers and all the volunteers (drinks and food are given on the way to ensure people are energised throughout the wait). Unfortunately, the queue got a little rowdy at the security screening as people started to jostle and rushed.
The Fullerton Hotel tribute to LKY
So near yet so far... just about to enter the Parliament House
After surviving this historic queue, in the future, I guess I don't need to be afraid when queueing for SEA Games, concerts, or marathon events :p Tomorrow will be the state funeral. As an ex-usher in UCC, I feel a pang of sadness. If only I am still an usher and can participate in this once-in-a-lifetime occasion.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Expensive lesson

I just lost another $250 in cash. I do not want to accuse the other tenant in my house for doing it as I think it is crazy for him to come inside my room when I am showering. But this is not the first time. The first time, I lost $100 in cash from my wallet inside my bag. Since it was in my wallet, I doubted myself. Was it really lost? Could I have accidentally dropped it outside? Thus I decided to let it go and keep extra cash in my drawer instead. Looks like now $250 is the price I have to pay to learn to lock my drawer when I am not in the room.

This time, I am very sure that my $250 went missing. On Sunday night, I was looking through and throwing my old receipts. I usually keep some receipts until the points for the purchase are credited to my account. As a habit, I always rip all paper that I throw into small pieces, so there is no way I could accidentally be tearing apart 5 pieces of $50 note. I remembered counting the cash and told myself to take 1 piece when I went to collect one of my toys.

Sadly yesterday I was too tired. I took out my alarm handphone from the same drawer but I did not check or see if the cash was still there. I woke up from my nap and took a shower at 12am. Yesterday night, the other tenant happened to be awake still. Same thing as this morning when I took a shower. When I wanted to take a $50 note this morning, I realised that they were all gone.

I sort of getting nudging from the Heavens last night which I chose to ignore. I got the "urge" to prepare the cash for the toy payment last night but I was too tired and decided that I could do that in the morning instead. The "urge" came a few times. Another "urge" was to check for my iBanking status. My iBanking device was just beneath the cash and the receipts in my drawer. Again I chose to ignore that thinking that I might as well check all my bank accounts on the 25th after my payday.

This morning I was so upset and emo about this. Surprisingly, I am feeling much better right now. $250 is not a lot. But I still do not want to accuse anybody. I still think that it is unthinkable and crazy for the other tenant to enter my room when I am in the toilet. There is no proof that he did that. There is no explanation about my missing cash. I can only accept and suck it up.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Budget busted

I read an article shared on facebook that 1 thing that people should do in their 30s (I am not there yet) so that they don't regret in the future is to travel with their parents while they are still healthy and strong enough to travel. As much as I want to do that very often, I feel that I don't have the patience and energy to face family quarrel and conflict daily during travel. Sigh.. my family came to Singapore over the last weekend.

As expected, there were quarrels because people were too selfish and only thought about themselves. Food was an issue as my dad and elder sister die die also wanted to look for rice. I hate people asking me for food recommendation when obviously my taste is way beyond theirs. Quarrels over shopping also happened. My mum had a bad habit of black facing when others were shopping but all her tiredness would disappear when it was her turn to shop. But obviously I don't want to travel with my elder sister. She is not only problematic about food, she also does not like to walk, gets tired easily, and basically only wants to do or go whatever she feels like doing.

I was upset that in the end my dad refused to bring back the soda maker I won from Standard Chartered Bank. He mentioned that the machine came with CO2 tank and noone sells it in Jakarta so no point of bringing it over because after we use finish the CO2, the machine will be useless. Haiz... I am giving it to my cousin here and I am glad to hear that likely her dad will be happy to play with it. At least it will not be wasted. I also wanted to use $100 Sentosa Voucher that I won to eat something good and expensive. Again it was not used because of the troublesome people over food :( Since the vouchers were expiring on the 27th March, I just used all of them in Universal Studios souvenir shop. Bleah.. the things are so bad that it was difficult to spend $100. I had to force my parents to get a pair of ugly looking polo for $50 and I spent the other $50 over rubbish such as the replica of the revolving Universal globe and a mug. Wasted wasted wasted... If only this is a Disneyland voucher, it will not be a problem to even spend $1000 :p

Accompanying my sister shopping resulted in me buying things which I initially did not know about. T_T First, I bought Nyanko sensei and Kuro nyanko plushies from Natsume Yuujincho that I am currently watching. They are quite big that I can't fit them into the largest ziploc bag available. I usually put my plushies into ziplog bags to prevent dust. Less space for me on bed but as long as it makes me happier, it is a good trade off. As other prize figures, they are $36 each.
I prefer opened eyes for Nyanko Sensei as well
My new sleep mates :)
I did not know that there was a Japanese toy fair at Takashimaya. After waiting and hoping for a sale for 1 year, I decided not to wait any longer and just buy Figuarts Zero Atsushi Murasakibara. He is the only one from the whole set that I don't have. It is very pricey at $40 but since I want to utilise my $10 voucher, I decided to just bite the bullet. Bandai.. Bandai.. your quality is really damn shit. The paint job is even worse than some prize figures. But again, it was too late. I already had the rest of the cast so might as well get this to complete.
After 3 months of waiting, finally Kinokuniya 20% Members Sale is here. Hahaha.. The sale 2 weeks ago was only for Main Store so I did not want to buy those items available in Bugis since I can earn Capitastar at Bugis. I bought 2 Kuroshitsuji books and 1 Free! Eternal Summer. And talking about Free!, I am quite pissed with Kinokuniya. Kyoani often release exclusive Free! artbooks. Last year when I pre-ordered from Japan (which cost me a bomb because of the proxy fees), Kinokuniya brought in these exclusive books. I thought they would continue do that for subsequent exclusives and I did not pre-order from Japan again. Guess what, when I did not pre-order, Kinokuniya also did not bring in! Damn it. I have to hunt at secondary markets which usually have inflated prices.. Don't even talk about proxy fees which will inflate the prices even more.
This is the spread front and back covers. The book is still A4 in size.
Lastly, thank goodness for the reprint of Cardcaptor Sakura's Clow Card book. I missed the January print and I did a special order at Kinokuniya. I was surprised that they arrived quite quickly and then I realised it was because they were getting the reprint in March. The price was about $5 more than the January one because of exchange rates perhaps. And lucky that this week also the members sale so I can still get 20% discount for this. If only Kinokuniya sale happened last week, I could send all these books to Jakarta via my family also. Haiz.. Now I have to carry heavy luggage this April.

I stopped following Ayumi Hamasaki for a few years already but I could not help but curious when my friend shared her new song The GIFT which featured JJ Lin. My first thought was: what the heck he was doing! After watching the PV, I was like: how come he did not sing but only played the piano? Any guy could have played the piano. He was actually the composer =x Lol.. Haha.. Well, I have to give him credits because this song is quite awesome, not the generic J-pop/J-rock type that usually I avoid.
I think I can use this song as my wedding song. Haha.. That is provided I can find a bride as pretty as Ayu.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Thank God..

I have to thank God for the continual blessings throughout this past week. It is quite amazing that I completed 7 x 1 hour lunch time talk in a week without losing my voice or hurting my throat. I have one item less in my "to do list" with the completion of the public talk last Saturday. I hated it so much. 2 years ago when I was approached for it, it was promised that I only needed to up there to do the talk and that was it. In the end, I also had to do the various admin stuff. Pfft... It was not even my responsibility or anything. The worst was the HQ person who was supposed to help me completely forgot about it. I called her 15 minutes before the registration began and she was freaking out. It was obvious that she completely forgot about it.

I nearly had a dispensing error a few days ago. It was the last patient and as the patient was queue-ing for payment, I went to look at the prescription again to see a discrepancy. Oh my God!! I think it was really a miracle. God really nudged me to check the prescription again because usually I don't have the habit of re-checking after I completed the dispensing. That happened to be the last patient as well. If there were still patients after that, I would definitely not check the prescription again. It was a huge wake up call for me to remain careful and not to rush even when it is busy or it is close to going home time. It is quite ironic to conduct talks to nag at my staff for safety bla bla bla when I myself still fall into similar at-risk behaviours.

Money is the root of all evils. I always thought that it is how the quote go. Apparently according to the bible (1 Timothy 6:10), the statement is "the love of money is the root of all evils". Money itself is not the problem but the greed, the obsession, and the desire to hoard money are what driving people mad. I met my friend yesterday to pick up my S.H Figuarts Sailor Uranus and Sanford 2014 book as we combined our purchase from Amazon. I realise how stingy I am when it comes to money. My friend still has to pay his university study loan i.e higher expenditure than me but he seems to be more generous when it comes to money. Haiz.. I have something to learn from him.. and I have to be grateful for able to get a scholarship to fund my university. Otherwise I will still be serving my loan now and don't even think about saving for the future. A part of me thinks I am overspending and I need to save. Another part of me thinks that such thoughts are what making me stressed and obsessed with money.

Anyway I redeemed my $50 Robinsons voucher and I am very happy that it can also be used at John's Little or Marks and Spencer. I was expecting 5 x $10 vouchers and was planning to buy new sets of underwears. Since it is one $50 voucher, my underwear has to wait. Haha.. I am not going to spend on $50 worth of underwears. My family is coming over on the coming weekend and I hope they are buying something and I can exchange the voucher with cash. Lol... Of course if they are not buying anything, since I can use the voucher at Marks and Spencer, I can spend it on their tidbits. Fuuuh.... gotta hang on for my avoidance of tidbits, bubble tea, and fast food.. I survived 2 months without it. I have avoided Starbucks as well and as a result, my studies suffer :( I simply cannot study at home..