Tuesday, June 30, 2015

What the phish

My head hurts when thinking about money. I nearly became a phishing victim on the very night I was 'drunk'. I have to thank God that somehow I thought twice before entering my credit card details after stupidly giving away my other personal information (name, address, phone numbers, date of birth, password, e-mail, etc). The fear of getting my account hacked and losing all the hard-earned money was nerve wrecking. Unfortunately I could not change my name, address, phone numbers, and date of birth. I could only scrambled and mixed around my password and e-mail login accounts. I was on the fence but decided to cancel my credit cards as well.

Talking about the cancelled cards, the bank sent me the replacement cards within 1 week. When the monthly statement arrived, the points earned using the cancelled cards were not calculated. That is ironic considering the amount they charge me is correct. As usual, when it comes to taking people's money, finance people will never get it wrong but when it comes to giving rewards, shit like this is bound to occur if the customers are gullible.

My irritation increased further today when I realised that the bank revised the reward points system as of 1 June 2015. Yea.. how awesome it is to put a notice in the website AFTER the revision instead of notifying customers BEFORE doing the revision. Obviously the revision is always going for worse. The free waiver of my cards is expiring in 2-3 months and all along I have been thinking to use all my points to redeem the cash rewards just before they deny future fee waivers which simply mean I am going to cancel my cards. It used to take 28000 points to get $100 cash rewards to offset my bills. The bank increased it to 32000 points. That is $4000 difference in spending which is bloody fucking shit. In my anger, I was almost redeem all my points for $10 Watsons vouchers but I remembered that they would send 1 mailer for 1 voucher. If I redeem everything today, when all the vouchers come, my mail box will not even be sufficient. With this revision, I basically lose almost $100 of cash rewards. Again, I cannot do anything except for feeling upset and anger. This sly cunning bank is Standard Chartered Bank.

I honestly feel like immediately cancelling the cards and bring my money elsewhere. But so far, only these cards had actually given me some rewards. I got 2x Gold Class tickets during last year's GSS (can't remember what the promotion mechanism was back then), 1x Soda machine during last year's Christmas promotion (ironically due to my surgery), and I have a very high chance to getting a pair of air tickets this year due to my dad's hospitalisation bills.

Aiyah sian sian sian lah... I have yet to consolidate my June expenses but things do not look so good from my records in the handphone app T_T

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Asian flush

I am not a fan of alcoholic drinks because of my weak gastric and I turn red relatively easy. However, there is one particular sake that I like since 2010. I found a similar one with a peach flavor that I immediately bought. Usually I would only drink 2-3 sips and 1 bottle would last me at least 1 week. But I was very down due to the stress last week and I finished 1 bottle at one go. It did not cause me any nausea or vomiting but it made me realise that I had quite bad Asian flush and rashes appeared all over my body. There was no itch whatsover just that they looked kinda gross. I thought the flush would only affect my face but since the rashes were all over, I guess I really lack the enzymes.

My ex-roommate in secondary school who is now living in Canada is here this weekend and I met him yesterday. The last time we met was in 2007 when we collected our A level results. Wew.. that was 8 years already. He wanted to eat chicken rice at the Big Bird at Balmoral Plaza. I had never heard of that place before and I dislike chicken rice but I decided to be a gracious host and just followed. Haha... After that I accompanied him to the Gardens by the Bay.

It was great catching up with him and be able to speak like the good old days despite long years of not keeping in touch. I thought he would be much better off than me over there but I think different places have their own challenges. In the end, we realise that despite living half world apart, our problems are the same: our incomes are not enough to get a house. Haha.. His dad is also similar to mine for not wiling to fund our housing T_T My friend, however, is one step further than me. I do not want to find a girlfriend before I am sure that I will be able to support my future family. My friend is going to ask permission from his future parents-in-law to propose to their daughter. That is the reason why he is flying here at this time. Oh mianz.. how about me...

After meeting him, I went to Expo to see the Chara-Expo. I did not know that they closed at 6pm. Damn it!! Wasted my time to go.. I went again this morning. Its facebook page mentioned that they opened at 930am instead of the advertised 1000am. I reached there at about 920am and I asked the lady at ticket counter about the opening time. She told me 930am and they actually opened the door at 100am on that day. Bleah.. I could have gone to eat breakfast first instead of joining the already super duper long queue there.

The event itself was quite disappointing. Perhaps I am too old to attend this kind of thing as I don't really follow the latest anime etc. But then, it seems that the crowd was mostly younger kids who came to play the card games. A lot of the exhibition booths were empty and I thought it was quite poor thing for the exhibitors. The shops were also bluffing people. Put $2 voucher in the goodie bag but jacked up the prices by over $6 as compared to their physical shop in town.

Thank God for the nice meal at Egg and Berries to end the crappy morning :)

Friday, June 19, 2015

Post-SEA Games

Hurray!! Everything had come to an end with the bump-out process completed!! I had a big feast with the nurses who were also packing their items this afternoon. We combined all our remaining food voucher and literally had a whole spread of chicken, duck, and pork to eat!! Haha... The relief and tiredness I am experiencing now is similar to the times when I went away for outdoor camps during my school days. There were both good and bad things which happened but in the end, only the good memories would last.

Looking back to November 2012, I would never imagine this day would come. My friends often asked me how I ended up being arrowed to do this. I could only say that I called my boss to get my end of year leave being approved. I guess my boss happened to be reading emails pertaining to this and just nice since I was also on the phone, she asked me about it. I wanted but missed the chance to volunteer for the Youth Olympic Games back in 2010 because it took place during first week of school. I thought it was too much trouble to pon the first week of school. Thus when this opportunity was presented, I was elated. However, I also knew my position. I only started working and I had limited knowledge and experience etc. My boss assured me that this was the first time for everyone so everyone just had to learn and see how things would go.

The pressure began right from the first meeting. The other people in the team were managers, directors, senior director etc with vast knowledge and experience while I was just a small fry sitting there. I felt timid. As the planning went on, I had to deal with many more people. This was quite a challenge because at work I am a person who prefers to do something myself instead of asking people to do things my way. For a project of this scale, this was impossible as there were so many things and a lot were beyond my capacity. Honestly it is not something that I like because it is like I am asking them for a favor. Not to mention that they also have their own things to do and sometimes it is quite frustrating waiting for their replies as I, myself, have my own deadline to meet.

The synergy among the team members grow with time and I have to say that we make a pretty good team. Everyone tries to help one another, is chin cai with sharing things (which makes planning easier to do), and tries not to cause burden to one another.

I am quite glad to have a dedicated team of volunteers whom not only help with the operations but also with the setting up and the tearing down of the place. With the limited resources, we did not invest in our IT system. Everything was stripped back to the basics. We all grow up  in an era when technology has made everything simpler and going back to the basics is not convenient. However, they were not complaining. They had been more helpful than the people who were supposed to help more. These were the people from the other cluster. Right from the training, they were just complaining about this and that, and during the operations, instead of providing supervision, they ended up making lives difficult for the volunteers. In fact, they were the only reasons that marred my great experience. Tell me if it is a responsible thing to do when you cannot (or rather do not want) to make a decision pertaining to your field of work, ask people from other department to make a decision for you, and when things go wrong, you blame the other people. Is it professional to ask others, who are definitely less knowledgeable about your field, to make a decision on your behalf? Of course the part that I could not tahan is the blaming others. I would have to say the impulse (and the stress) got the better of me and I sent an email not to ask these people anymore when it comes to any decision making process. The email was meant for internal circulation so I did not 'choose' my words and someone chose to sent the email to the other cluster.. Of course all hell broke loose!

Well I can't be bothered. At that time, my main priority was not to let any more screw up happened. Imagine if someone complained, it would not only affect the organisation's reputation but also the nation's reputation! I even asked my boss if I could step down if it could 'appease' the offended parties. I felt quite bad for her to do damage control and clear the mess I caused although in the first place the email was not meant to be spread!! At the end of everything, I can't tell if she still thinks I have a part to blame for this 'saga' but I am adamant that at that point of time, my ultimate goal was not to have the foreign delegates complained and putting others in trouble because of the incompetence of my people.

It was a bitter pill and hard lesson for me: being too nice and too trusting to others. Next time, I will try to know the people better before putting my own backside to cover theirs. I will never ever want to cover others who can only blame others.

Did I get to meet any famous athletes? Sadly the answer is NO. I was more involved in the first few and last few shifts for the set up and the tear down respectively and there were very few patients. However, I am blessed to take away a treasured memory. About 1 week before the game began, I met this athlete who came close to 9pm. After everything was completed, we accompanied him to the place where the shuttle bus supposed to pick him up. After 40 minutes, no bus appeared!! I informed the clinic head who then arranged our own vehicle to send him back to the hotel. We did not spend 40 minutes of silence. He is currently studying at NUS and stayed on campus. We ended up sharing stories about that. Of course the best part was that after the closing ceremony, when we saw me, he actually still remembered our conversation and thanked me for entertaining him during the wait for the bus. And of course I congratulated him for winning a gold medal as well! Unfortunately, I did not have the courage to ask for a picture :( Sigh.. Should have just have a thick skin and have a YOLO moment lo..

Speaking about the closing ceremony, I felt very happy that I had the chance to attend and get the participant's medal. Hehe.. I am sucker to collect such memorabilia. It was also an honor to be able to experience the new National Stadium. The last time I was there was almost 10 years ago before the stadium was renovated. We entered at about 7pm and there were already so many people. We were seated at the 5th top row. The row was actually 'blocked' with a ribbon but we just jumped over it. Although the view was fantastic, the steepness can be quite scary to some people.
Before the ceremony bgan
I post this because my face is not visible. My camera is really bad under low light :'(
My memorabilia... Of course I have to crop away my identity haha..
It is quite ironic that despite spending so many days near the epicenter of all the happenings, I did not manage to find the Nila mascot and take a photo with him. I had to be happy with the giant inflatable Nila balloon. I also only knew that the cauldron was just outside the Kallang Wave Mall. I had my meals there everyday but I did not walked far enough to explore. Huhuhu...

Lastly, I also treasured the time spent with the temp admin staff. Well, they make me feel old actually. I can't believe that I am actually giving advise on how to best enjoy school life: a balance between doing well in school and taking parts in activities.

I feel that this is the pinnacle of my career. Sometime, this kind of things is best to be done once in a lifetime. I am quite sian having to think about the 8th ASEAN Para Games in December this year. It is like doing this all over again and I am really not looking forward having to work again with a few parties. Bleah.. But oh well, I will trust everything to God. I often complain about the so many things that I have to do at my branch but everything came into use for the setting up of the clinic. I had to do everything even down to the nitty gritty details such as how to arrange the drugs, to make labels for the drug bins, preparing downtime labels, doing rosters, issuing medicines to the nursing stations, taking care of the Controlled Drugs, etc. 1 last thing that I am praying to God is for me not to have the pride because of this. This experience should be something that makes me a better person, not a proud person

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Natsume Yuujinchou

Natsume Yuujinchou (or Natsume's Book of Friends) is a big thing in Japan from a few years ago. Sadly, I am very late into the fandom and hence missed out a lot of good things from this series. I started to know this series after the manga was translated to Indonesian by Elex Media Komputindo. Even so, I only knew about it in late 2014. Thank goodness I managed to hunt for all the manga from the first volume. From then, I looked for the anime which already completed its 4 seasons. The first season aired in 2008. I am 6 years late! Lol..

There are 2 reasons that my interest came late for this series, despite knowing its popularity. First, it is meant to be a shoujo series and I am more into shonen sports or adventure series. Second, available synopsis of the series tend to offer limited insight into the series: Natsume is a boy who has supernatural power to see spirits ('ayakashi' in Japanese). He has no parents and spent his childhood moving around from relatives to another distant relatives. He is shunned by others who finds him weird when he suddenly runs away from ayakashi and he is thought to be a liar when trying to tell others about ayakashi. The series begins when Natsume is in middle school. Natsume inherits the Book of Friends ('yuujinchou' in Japanese) from his grandmother which contains the names of ayakashi that she has defeated. The ayakashi whose name is written in the yuujinchou will obey the owner. This makes Natsume being chased by ayakashis who either want their names back (and hence freed from yuujinchou's contract) or want to take the yuujinchou to possess the other ayakashi whose names are written in the book. Natsume comes across and accidentaly releases Madara, a powerful ayakashi who is sealed in a lucky cat. Madara also wants the yuujinchou but finds Natsume interesting. Thus Madara decides to follow and protect Natsume with the promise that yuujinchou will be his when Natsume dies.

Does it sound interesting? Honestly no as it sounds like it will be a never ending story of various ayakashi coming after Natsume without a main story line. That is the truth. However, without reading or watching the series, people will not understand the 'magic' behind this. Despite its simplicity, each story never fails to capture my emotion and that what makes Natsume Yuujinchou very special. Each chapter or episode is a new 'hello' and a new 'goodbye' with the various ayakashi that Natsume meets, helps, and then disappears. As I was watching all 4 seasons continuously, I found myself having to take a break because my eyes were tired of crying.

A part of me can emphatise with Natsume's loneliness. With this traumatic childhood, he tries to avoid too close contact with another humans. However, with his friends and Fujiwara couple's persistent, Natsume slowly opens up to accept their relationships. Natsume's unique personally also attracts some ayakashi who eventually becomes his friends and frequently reappear in various episodes.

Each story or episode can be categorised into the following: helping various ayakashi and then eventually giving back their name, knowing a bit of Natsume's grandmother's relationship with various ayakashi, Natsume's story with other humans (either his friends or Fujiwara couple) which tend to be the light-hearted and funny ones, and Natsume's story with fellow sorcerers (people who can also see ayakashi). Regardless of the categories, one thing that remains present is the new 'hello' and new 'goodbye' which makes the series constantly touching. The jokes can be very funny and at times I will just swing from laughing to crying to laughing within one episode. Such a emotional roller coaster. Haha..

Usually I will recommend manga over anime. But for Natsume Yuujinchou, I highly recommend both. The anime features a more balanced relationship with both humans and ayakashi. The anime also has great opening and ending themes with equally great opening and ending animations. Normally, even if the songs are great, I tend to skip the opening and ending themes after listening to them for a few times. The opening animation tend to be light-hearted and entertaining to watch while the ending animation tend to be more poignant. Even by listening to the ending songs alone, I can feel emotional. Although some of the ayakashi only appear in 1 episode (and thus forgotten after that), when I watch some AMV from youtube, somehow I can recall the episodes and feel emotional as well.

If I have to say something negative about the series, it would be the fact that most ayakashi only appear in 1 episode. Some ayakashi are actually pretty like-able and I wish that they are featured in more episodes. I sincerely hope that they will continue with series with seasons 5.. 6.. and so on.

Natsume Yuujinchou is good enough to win my heart to collect some collectibles. Sadly, there is only 1 proper scale figure of Natsume :'( and the rest are prize figures. Having said that, some of the prize figures are pretty awesome too. Of course I will post about figures at another time. I am actually quite surprised that Natsume Yuujinchou does not have a proper art book despite having 4 anime seasons and close to 20 volumes of manga. Sigh... I can't even find a nice illustration with most characters to accompany this post!
My favourite song from the series. Ending song of season 2: Aishiteru by Kourin

Ending song of season 4: Takaramono by Marina Kawano

The opening song of season 4: Ima, Kono Toki by Hiiragi is also awesome. In fact, I think it is the best opening song from across 4 seasons. Unfortunately, the band has disbanded and the audio for the song in youtube is all muted. Bleah.. Hiiragi is actually a girl band. From the voice alone, I thought it was a boyband. Haha.. Okay it is so difficult to get the following link so I hope it will not get deleted.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Live Spectacle NARUTO

I can say goodbye to my exam preparations. After Gundam docks on Thursday and 28th SEA Games Opening Ceremony yesterday, I spent today watching Live Spectacle NARUTO. I was not aware of this even until yesterday when I was so bored and surfing the internet. Truth to be told, I am not a fan or Naruto. I know Naruto is a popular manga and anime series but I never watch the anime or read the manga. My interest is not exactly on the series but with the fact that this is a live action production in a theatre! I know there are plenty of animes being turned into musical and performed on stage in Japan but what is the chance for me to experience those? Now with this one present in Singapore (complete with English subtitle too!), I shall not miss the chance.

Usually I will prepare myself before watching anything with reading some spoilers first. I did not have the luxury this time so I really went to watch this with a blank mind, completely clue-less about Naruto, except perhaps for names of few characters. Surprisingly, I did not find myself lost while watching. Thus I think the story is presented well and smoothly. You don't even need to be familiar with the original material to follow this.

Acting-wise, just from looking at the elaborate make-up in the promotional pictures, I know I can expect top class acting. From the laughter of approval from the audience (which I believe are mostly fans), I am pretty sure that they successfully copy the funny scenes from the anime or manga without being lame. There are plenty of touching moments which actually made me shed tears. I guess I am officially fall into the 'old' category now that I can understand how loneliness can drive people crazy or evil. Without anybody to love or care, you simply lose your purpose in life and very easily live as you wish for yourself. In the past, I can never understand such theme but now I understand and can empathise with the characters a bit better.

My biggest curiosity is to see how they do the effects for the flashy fight moves and again they do this very well without making things lame.  In addition, they do not only project animation on screen to show the flashy fight moves. For example, for Rasengan and Chidori, the actors hold something with a light on their arms to show the focal point of the power. Naruto's shadow clone jutsu is depicted by having multiple people wearing black attire with orange lights outlining Naruto's body. Gaara waves a huge white cloth (on which sand animation is projected) for his sand wall. For the jutsus that involve various hand/finger movements, they project the animations of the actors' close-ups while doing those hand/finger movements. I really give them the credit for going to such extent to depict the fights.

While the effects are fantastic, I am pretty disappointed with the physical fight scenes. Although they are well choreographed, there is minimal body contact. Of course I do not expect the actors to be literally punching and kicking one another but I expect some realism to depict the fight. At least they can come closer (although still no contact) to maintain the realism. Many of the punches and kicks are very far apart that I cannot tell the difference between the punches/kicks which are EVADED and those that actually HIT. It is minor but I think it is quite a waste as the actors are already spending that much effort with all the acrobatics.

Since this is a live action theater, it is another hit when they bother to put in some INTERACTIVE segments with the audience. This is especially evident in the second act which makes the whole second act more enjoyable. In the first half, it was only Jiraiya asking the audience to clap their hands (and to clap louder) for his appearance. But at the beginning of second half, Naruto went down from the stage and made one round through the audience. When Choji turns giant, a giant balloon of his shape was thrown from the stage to the audience. Yes, this was in the middle of the massive battle but it was done rather well without being corny. A section of Gaara vs Naruto battle was also done at center aisle on the audience side. Oh and after turning giant, Choji is hungry and wants to eat some chili crab. Lol.. Nice try to engage with the audience. I wish they do some of these things at the first act too.

As a surprise, at the end of the whole thing, the cast sings the image song of the show LIVE. So yeah, it feels like watching a live concert even just for a few minutes. I am not sure if the person playing Orochimaru is famous because everyone went gaga when she (yes it was played by a lady) started to sing. Unfortunately my seat is not strategic enough for me to shake hands with the casts when they are running around. Sigh.. Sad.. Well lesson-learnt, the best seats will be at the center aisle. Too bad I knew about this and bought the ticket at the very last minute. All the good seats had been taken. But at the end of the day, I still think it was $138 (+$4 booking fee) well-spent. Sadly, the hall was only 60-70% filled. Does it mean that the show is not very popular? Hmm... That will be quite sad. In fact, I enjoyed this better than Wicked (although this is like comparing apple to orange as they are different genre altogether).

There are a few things that I think can improve the watching experience. Firstly, they should project the show to the screens. The screens were used to only show the subtitles and it felt rather awkward to be looking at the screens for the subtitles while missing all the great actions and details on the stage. Luckily I am used to watching Japanese anime and drama so there are commonly used words that I roughly can tell without looking at the subtitles the whole time. Secondly, they should project the close-up of the actors as animations more frequently, That much effort is spent for the make-up for the actors and I think it is kinda wasted that these cannot be seen clearly and appreciated by the audience.

Of course, I am a sucker for this kind of thing and I got myself readily scalped for getting the overpriced merchandises. Haha.. I bought the $30 programme booklet. Hmm.. I shall just consider it like buying an artbook la.. However, I kinda regret spending $90 for the photo sets. Yes.. call me crazy for spending that much for 18 pieces of photos. My regret came after I realised that there was nothing 'exclusive' about the photos. They are readily available on the websites as the promotional pictures T_T To add to my disappointment, some of photos are not that well-cropped. Some close-ups of the action poses have the actors' hair or weapons cropped away -_- Some of the full body shots have the actors' shoes or weapons cropped away. Aww... Anyway my main reason for buying the photos are to appreciate the make-up lo. Since I could not really see the faces during the show. I am not a poster person so I did not buy the $10 poster.
The special 'gift' for buying the whole picture set. This picture is also available online lo.. Sian..
That's all that I have to say about Live Spectacle NARUTO. Just to hijack this a bit, I managed to sell another item yesterday. Yay!! Haha.. I think it is almost 1 year since the last time I sold something leh. I sold The Art of Marvel The Avengers. I bought it in 2012 because I enjoyed the movie so much. I was expecting a good read of the movie making (like those Harry Potter behind-the-scenes books) but this book has very little of that and mostly concept arts. Bleah.. I bought it from Amazon for about $35 and I sold it for $75 which is the original price. The buyer asked if the price was negotiable. Only then I went online to realise that this is SOLD OUT everywhere. Darn!! If I knew that was the case, I would double the price. Grr.. Okay.. don't be greedy and be glad that it has been sold.
Not going to buy the Age of Ultron book though
Anyway the buyer is a great guy. I think I have never came across such a friendly buyer who offered me a handshake. We also made a little conversation about the Age of Ultron movie and we both think it is not as good as its prequel. He asked if I had the Age of Ultron book. Haha.. Nope.. did not enjoy the movie to actually buy the book. And the current Amazon price is also not that cheap either. Lol.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

GUNDAM docks at SINGAPORE

I am not going to write what this event is all about because all information can be found from here. I will only write about my experience and what I think is not found in the official website. When I read about giant Gundams at Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza, I was expecting that they would build a tentage over the open area and have the shops there as what usually happens with the jewellery exhibitions. So when I saw that the whole Takashimaya B2 square was the actual location of all the shops and the exhibitions, my little kid in me was jumping like a crazy fanboy. The whole area is basically now all about Gundam! There are a lot of Gundam statues all over and taking photos are challenging because of the human crowd. I guess I am lucky that I was there today while waiting for my dental appointment. I cannot imagine the crowd during the weekends.

I shall just throw all the pictures I took before talking about what I bought later on. My camera is currently with my sister. I am pretty sure the scenery at night will be different but with only my camera phone, taking photos under low light condition is just impossible.

Starting from the outside.
Scale 1/3 RX-78-2 Gundam
See the "Wisma Atria" sign on the top? Just to give a perspective how tall this thing is.
Waited for so long to get this without idiots standing in front of the barricades when they knew so many people from afar wanted to take a photo of the Gundam ONLY!
MS-06S-Zaku II on the opposite side
Apparently, this dude is not as popular as RX-78-2
The whole open area just for this?? I think there will be a surprise coming in this space.
I am not that huge fan of Gundam. I don't know the model of these.
I took pictures of these 5 only. I presume they are duplicated on the other side.
Let's move to the inside.
RX-78-2 Gundam Ver. SG50
I would say this is the highlight of the event!
Kunio Okawara gallery
There is another wall lined with paintings but I was too engrossed with the statues and did not scrutinize the paintings.
These are all the big statues displayed throughout the whole area. I also have no idea on their names and their series. I consider myself lucky to be able to get these pictures without strangers posing in front of them.
There are a lot of HG, MG, and PG models on displays too and I can't be bothered to take pictures of them. Ooops.. Haha.. My only interest is Wing Gundam Zero (Endless Waltz version). I am always interested in buying the PG but I don't think I have the time, the skill, and the money to buy it. It remains only a wishful thinking.
This is the nearest I can get to a fully assembled PG Wing Gundam Zero (EW version) and what have my camera phone done to the photo T_T
There are displays of RX-78-2 Gundam Ver. SG50 in various scales, from SD, HG, RG, MG, and PG. I can't understand why Bandai decided to mass produce only the HG version. Sigh.. The price is $38.95. Since it is SG50 version, I was expecting a $50 price too. Haha.. Oh well I prefer paying $50 for a RG or a MG than a HG.

I was not expecting to buy anything else and for years I have been telling myself not to buy any more Gundams because I already own each mecha from Gundam Wing. But when I see Wing Gundam MG being discounted to $52, I just lost all my self-restraint. Haha... I have been eye-ing this for years. I am even tempted to get the PG version because of the 20% off for all models. Luckily I managed not to buy as my friend informed me that prices of Gundam over here are very expensive. Even the $52 which I thought was a good bargain is actually the same as prices from Japanese shops + international shipping. Bleah.. I should not have kaypoh-ed and now get myself disappointed.

I also bought Builders Part System Base 001. I have always been looking for a hangar to display my Gundams. I have to say that it is quite pricey for $19,95 each (before 20% off) but it is sold out in most Japanese online shops. I wanted to buy a few but I was not sure if this would fit nicely for HG 1/100. I have more HG 1/100 than 1/144 while this product specifically mentions 1/144 on the box.

In all, I spent $106.91 today. For purchases above $100 or above $200, there are some goodies to redeem. I received a Gundam Eco Bag and landyard for spending above $100. For using DBS card, I received a commemorative badge. Yay!! I was gunning for $200 to get the EZ-Link with Gundam picture but there was nothing to buy to hit that $200. Well, the commemorative badge for $100 purchase is actually quite good so I am quite happy with that.
Loots for the day.. on the left is free catalogue
My first limited + special edition Gundam
The commemorative badge.. The paint for letter "C" seems to be missing o_0
I can make do WITHOUT the landyard
Both faces of the Eco Bag
The Eco Bag is actually quite small to contain $100 worth of purchase. For $200 purchase, the bag will be bigger but I don't think it is big enough. 

At the end of the day, I am happy ^o^ Hehe.. Usually the happiness will subsides when I am thinking about where to store all of these. But for today, the happiness seems to be quite long lasting. I am still feeling happy when typing this.

Thank you Bandai for holding this event in Singapore. I am just wondering if I am already this ecstatic with this event, how am I going to react when I go to the land of anime (and anime merchandises) some day? And Japan is not all about anime, Disneyland and Wizarding World of Harry Potter are there too!! Kyaa.....

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

New bag: FX creations

Working on Sundays just don't cut it for me. My bag was torn on my journey to work on last Sunday :( That was a week after my shoes broke on the Sunday before that. Sian.. I felt so emo and upset about it. Bleah.. But to be on the positive side, I had to be happy because this was a free bag. I decided to get this free bag because my previous bag broke. Thus, this free bag bought me 3 months.

This is really record-breaking for me as previously my bags always lasted for years. My very first Converse bag lasted about 4 years for me. It was replaced with a Nike bag which lasted about 3 years and then followed by another Converse bag which lasted almost 3 years. All were comparable as their prices were in the range of $50-60. The free Skechers bag was cited to worth $59 so I expected a similar quality. Not sure if the brand is not good or I get a defective item. I had more items to carry in my studying days (notes, files, lab coats, umbrellas, water bottles) as compared to now (umbrellas, water bottles, keys) so I don't think the problem is with me.
I like the green colour and the shape is quite stylish too
I was torn between getting another Converse bag or to utilise my $50 Robinsons voucher. It is not easy to find an affordable and yet a like-able bag. I am just very picky: I want plenty of pockets/compartments, a size that can fit A4 files/folders, and the most important factor will be durability. I saw some pretty good leather bags from Robinsons at the Heeren yesterday but I thought they would make me look too old. It is not something desirable when I use the bags on weekends. Haha.. I also dislike those bags with handles to carry. I don't think I can pull it off. Haha.. I am not those young rich executive and I prefer to have my hands free.

Today I went to the Robinsons and Raffles City and surprisingly the range of items are quite different from the Heeren. At the Heeren, I saw some Picard bags discounted to ~$150ish.. Not too bad to pay $100 after the voucher. Hmm.. the Picard bags at Raffles City are more 'atas' and those laptop bag-style. The only one that sorts of meet my criteria is from a brand that I never come across before: FX creations. The price is $86 and after 10% discount and my voucher, I only forked out $27.40. Hehe... Apparently the company is based in Hong Kong so I am not sure about the quality. I was happy when I googled some review and there were people saying that their bags could last 3-4 years.. Hmm.. I hope mine can last that long too.
Can't see the engraving of the brand
I think this is quite a good catch for today. This is the only one that fits most of my criteria, except for the lack of compartments. I hope that this will be durable.