Revisiting the basics with my…

My mum has started learning Korean.

..

.

Okay, not really. But she seems quite determined to at least learn how to read the Hangeul. As for understanding …. haha.

Throughout the 6 years of seeing me learn Korean, she has never really shown an interest in it. She does pick up random weird phrases from dramas etc, but she has NEVER tried to learn Hangeul. The closest she did was to listen to some random mp3 recordings from a book I used to have, which teaches vocabulary such as 배추, 양파 etc lol. But she didn’t want to learn Hangeul.

BUT. When I received Billy Go’s Korean Made Simple to review, she showed an exceptional amount of interest in the book. o.O I have had so many books but she never bothered to look at them. After I’m done with my review, she proceeded to claim the book as her own -.- and I think I remember tweeting some time back about how she said that she will study and be better than me in Korean HAHA.

NOW SHE HAS STARTED (okay la I don’t feel threatened at all lolol)

These days, when I get back home from work, she will bombard me with questions on pronunciation hahahaha.

It’s really interesting to see her (struggle to) learn Hangeul and it reminded me of how foreign and (at times) difficult I found the pronunciation to be. Everything seems like a DUH given to me now, but now that I look at her progress, I remembered how I had some difficulty with the ㅈ sound and differentiating between ㅗ and ㅓ. And wondering if I should pronounce ㄱ as k or g, ㄷ as t or d etc.

My mum is worse though hahahaha. I nearly puke blood trying to get her to see ㅗ as OH and not OR. But I did ban the usage of romanisation HAHAHA.

Come to think of it, Hangeul is not as easy as people believe it to be. xD My mum was kinda quite happy with her progress and said that she will catch up with me soon at this rate(?) until she flipped to the chapters ahead and tried to pronounce 갑니다 as kap-ni-da. I was like gleefully telling her (super 幸災樂禍)that there are sound changes and proceeded to tell her it should be pronounced as a sound and she was like … . . . HAHA

Okay, I’m just very amused.

Brings back SOOO much memories of my own learning journey.

I can’t wait to see her struggle with the reinforced and aspirated consonants hahahahahahha.

(provided she doesn’t give up already)

(I’m terrible, ain’t I?)

p.s. She has found her bias in Kpop. hahahaha. I’m guessing that’s a motivation for learning the language? lol

[Review] 等一個人咖啡 / Cafe.Waiting.Love

MIND.BLOWN.

I love Korean movies and I’ve seen many great ones. But it has been really long since I last saw a movie that really touched me and is yet poignant and funny at the same time. I think the closest has to be 2010’s Hello Ghost.

九把刀 never fails to disappoint. Have blogged about my love for him (and his books) but this is actually the first movie of his that I’ve seen.

I went out feeling tired and came home feeling warm and fuzzy and motivated at the same time. This is the power of his storytelling skills.

To be honest, I was all ready to just NOT watch the movie. Reason being I LOVE THE NOVEL TO BITS and was really afraid it’s gonna be the typical novel-to-movie disaster. It’s sooo common to compare the novel and movie adaptation and end up being so disappointed in either the scriptwriting, the directing, the cast or be really confused when the movie tries too hard to squeeze in 100000 plotlines into 2 hours.

BUT.

Cafe.Waiting.Love subverts the viewers’ expectations and delivered something that is tied closely to the core of the novel and yet can be seen as a refreshing new story on its own.

(Minor spoilers ahead)

(2nd warning)

To be honest, I was kinda thrown off by the opening scene and was totally confused. I love the unintended (?) humour – 挫塞 lol. As a longtime reader who has read the original novel at least 6 times, I was all ready to scrutinise if the movie can bring out some of the best scenes in the movie. However, the totally fresh take and liberal storytelling (connecting characters which were unconnected, bringing in brand new plot lines) made me sooo excited to see what’s new that the whole comparison-thingy was forgotten.

I think that’s brilliant.

Instead of simply letting a reader see the same story in live action, 九把刀 has given the reader lots of surprise and keeps them on edge trying to figure out what the next scene would be.

It’s a risky move. Under less adept writers/directors, it may turn out to be hot mess which does not stay true to the original material and even worse, is a confusing patchwork of scenes. But I can assure that it’s as good as, or even better than the original novel (in a different sense).

There were two major twists in the storyline and I find the final one brilliant and touching. I’m sure all the viewers had shed a tear or two. Or more.

It’s really hard to be poignant and funny at the same time. Especially when 九把刀’s sense of humour can range from outrageously funny to slightly horny to extremely lame jokes. It’s hard to do the comedy part, but to seamlessly weave the comedy into a poignant story is even more difficult. Oh, he even turned the funny (ie. the cabbage / sausage / beancurd) into something meaningful and of significance. and turned it back into funny (for the cabbage).

Both sides of the movie came out strong and in the end, Cafe.Waiting.Love turns out to be like a well-brewed coffee to be savoured slowly, time and again.

Definitely in my re-watch list.

PLEASE WATCH.

Out and About in Osaka #5

Somewhere, I don’t know where.

It’s been more an a year since the trip and I’m still blogging about it. Or rather, just spamming photos since I can’t remember where’s where.

Browsing through the photos and it hit me that the plus one (bff) and I really looked very very happy and at ease. We were grinning in every single photo lol.

Eh, if you are reading this, we need to make IT happen. :D

Went to some random museum (I don’t even remember if we went there deliberately or simply pass by lol). I loveee museums that have this ‘collect all these stamps’ kinda feature.

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Most memorable exhibit. :/

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I fell in love with the ice-cream vending machine :P

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I need to drink yuzu highball again. NOWW. I was so obsessed with wanting to buy the santory whiskey lol. This was at a random izakaya – I never knew what I was ordering in those places /shouldstudymore

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I love looking out of the windows in the train <3

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Dotonbori. Or is it Namba. I loveee this place. <3

 

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I need to go back and shop.

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I remember liking a lot of clothes from this store.

 

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Really cool ride on the road.

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Pachinko places have really unhealthy air x.x Very overwhelming sound, sight and smell. lol.

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Hi Sol!

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Random vege/fruit stall.

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okay yay I finished blogging about Osaka. Next up is Kyoto!

[Seoul 2014] Bingsu and friends

I don’t have a sweet tooth and I’m not a huge fan of desserts. I’m one of those without a “separate stomach” for desserts, but I think I do always have some space reserved for bingsu 빙수 in Korea! :D

That being said, I’m rather particular about bingsus – I only like a certain kind. I hate it when cafes dump all kinds of rubbish stuff into the bingsu like cereal, marshmallow bits, coloured sprinkles and dunno what.

I only like 3 types of bingsus- strawberry, mango or the original kind with very few ingredients (red beans, ddeok).

I can list a few bingsus I like

– Cafe Benne’s strawberry bingsu (the ice cream on top is strawberry yoghurt flavour. super love)

– Tous Les Jours’s mango bingsu

– Slow Garden’s strawberry bingsu (this cafe/brunch place in 성북동 that I damn love)

– Paris Croissant’s original patbingsu

Met a group of friends in Korea for dinner and 2차 at a cafe! Friends + cafes = love!! It’s interesting because I only know one of them through language exchange and it was kinda random that we ended up meeting together! It was fun but I guess a little awkward – no alcohol = more time needed to bond and we didn’t really spend a lot of time together that evening lol.

Before meeting them, I was doing something else (another post) and had a late lunch alone in 광화문. Sandwich places are my best friends in Korea lol. Best place to eat alone and relax. Loved that place because of the floor-to-ceiling windows that offer a view of the plaza (where I can see King Sejong ♥).

The sandwich was so-so but whatever it doesn’t matter.

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Went to Anguk to meet them for dinner and to be honest I don’t remember what we ate or how it tasted like. I know it’s like a small place somewhere in / near 삼청동 and the makguli there was DAMN GOOD. But too bad I was on a (self-imposed) alcohol ban that time so I had a little bit only haha. The whole group was younger than me – I DON’T KNOW HOW TO REACT lol.

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Newfound friends!

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I have to meet people more than 2 times to remember names….. x.x

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another new friend

Apparently we ate this. I don’t even remember.

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Relocated to 5CIJUNG, which is a franchise cafe with MAD NICE INTERIOR. If cute and quaint is your style. I’ve been to several outlets and erm they do hold some special memories for me hahaha. The first time I’ve been to one I was like OMG THIS PLACE IS AWESOME. In any case, I only like their Blueberry Vinegar Ade drink there. It’s a must-order, despite its dubious sounding name lol.

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I’m terrible at taking photos.

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Ordered two bingsus to share! Either they changed their bingsus and the standard got better or this outlet has nice bingsus or the one I had gone to had terrible ones. In any case, really loved both! The patbingsu is a good example of the type of simple bingsus I love.

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Just that this one contained coffee……………. .. .Still good but I’ll prefer an even plainer one.

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That being said, the hottest bingsu place in Korea now has to be 설빙 (Sulbing). The Korean friends whom I talk to unanimously say that 설빙 is the best bingsu and nicer than the normal ones.

I disagree.

I guess people with a sweet tooth will like Sulbing but because their shaved ice is flavoured too (with milk I think) compared to normal ice used in normal bingsu, it’s TOOOOOO SWEET FOR ME. Trying it once or twice is fine but I don’t think I’ll crave for it.

Had the blueberry yoghurt one and I needed to drink water to wash off that sweet sticky after-taste/feeling x.x

This 인절미 설빙 is slightly better but nah. Give me my 밭빙수 anytime.

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[Review] Too Cool for School, IOPE cleansers, Nature Republic Sun Spray

Introducing a new category: BeautyBlogger인척 shortened to BB인척 

Recently I’ve begun to take more care of my skin and hair and .. myself and my skin has improved!! Amazing how a little effort goes a long way. I guess this old adage stays true in all circumstances (language learning or what not)

I’m totally far off from your usual blog-about-fashion-and-makeup pretty bloggers with immaculate hair and skin but thought it’ll be nice to share what I’ve been using and also add some interesting content here!! (of course almost all my products are Korean brands)

Maybe it’ll be a refreshing change to read reviews from an average-looking person with normal skin and shit hair (as told by my stylist in a nicer way).

And yes, this is a BIG disclaimer that I’m totally a noob at all these cosmetics/beauty stuff and half the time I may sound kinda stupid. Funny though. I’m totally confident and at ease when doing textbook reviews etc but reviewing a cleanser stumped me haha. #booknerd

Of course, I’m going to be as honest as I am with textbook reviews too. That’s the only guarantee you can get from this BB인척 series.

This is an experimental series so I can’t decide the structure yet!

p.s. Writing beauty blogs is MUCH tougher than reviewing textbooks. 존경!!

—————

 

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Products I’m reviewing today – sans the bear

I used to be simply SO lazy that my “skincare” routine consists only of washing my face morning and night with a cleanser and use a Korean brand peeling gel once every 3 weeks or so. ㅠㅠㅠ

Now I’m better.

In any case, I’m introducing some of the cleaners I’ve used in the past year!

Too Cool For School – Egg Mousse Soap (facial form) & Egg Mousse Pack (wash off mask)

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Never paid much attention to TCFS in Korea because the designs are totally … not my style but I was nonetheless very excited when I saw that the brand had launched in SG. The above are apparently the bestsellers and I do like it very much!

Both have a very fine foamy texture due to the spray can design.

Facial Foam

Good: Quite a thorough cleanser, always make my face feel fresh and clean afterwards. A little goes a long way – I made the mistake of pressing the spray too much and it was like overload of whip cream on my hand…

mmm: May be a little drying and too strong for those with very sensitive skin?

overall: will buy again.

rating: ♥♥♥

Egg Mousse Pack

Good: Loves that it feels like it gets absorbed into the skin. I can never tell but when I applied on my face it’s white but later on it will be transparent (so that means it’s all absorbed in???) Very refreshing and my face will feel smooth. I use it about once a week and it has lasted for at least 5 months already

overall: Quite recommended

rating: ♥♥♥

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Featuring a so-so facial foam and one of my FAVOURITE brands currently. Guess which’s which?

Hada Labo Facial Form

mmm: It seems like a popular brand so I bought the facial foam to try. Nothing special and doesn’t particularly work for me. Have definitely tried better facial foams.

overall: It now stands neglected in a corner and is still 3/4 full. ><

rating: –

IOPE Ideal Cleansing Foam – Whipping Brightener

If you put me in Aritaum (cosmetic chain store in Korea carrying brands such as Laneige, IOPE, Mamonde) and a wad of cash, I’ll make a beeline for the IOPE shelf. MAD LOVE. I’ve always wanted to try IOPE since knowing about it in 2010 but it’s a higher end brand compared to Skinfood, Etude House etc so I couldn’t afford any.

IOPE is not available offline in SG yet but you can always go to gmarket. Or ask a friend to get it for you!

good: best facial foam for me so far! Cleans and moisturises, smells great. A littttle bit will do and I forsee the tube to last me for quite some time! Good value for money.

rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Nature Republic Sun Spray

Don’t ask me why but I have always been getting sun screens from Nature Republic since 2010. lol. I was so happy when it came to SG but then the shops all close down one-by-one -.- In general, Korean friends told me that out of the usual Korean brands of that price range, they prefer Etude House and Innisfree only. But I guess each brand has their own loyal following? Since skincare is not a one-size-fits-all solution too.

In any case, I was very intrigued by this because THIS IS THE FIRST TIME I SEE SUN SPRAYS. I hate piling on sun screen on my body because it’s usually thick and greasy. So this saves me a lot of time and effort!!

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Good: Easy to use. Non-greasy. Makes my skin quite smooth with a bit of shine. Rather moisturising too. I don’t think I’ve gotten tanner so I guess it works? I only use it on my hands and legs, not my face. Don’t have the usual sunscreen smell.

Overall: Will get it again if I go to Korea.

Rating: ♥♥♥

———-

This concludes the first (long) post of the BB인척 series. If you like the post, have any questions or comments or suggestions, pleeeeeease leave a comment :D

If you think I should stick to writing about textbooks, you can be honest too okay.

[OPEN THREAD] Musings in the train

Hello all!

I’m blogging in the mrt train as usual ^^ Most of you arent commenting anymore ): Sometimes I wonder if you guys are just 눈팅ing (눈팅 – 댓글 안 하고 그냥 보고 간다 read and leave without commenting) or if you guys have moved on to other interests / blogs or if my blog has become more boring.

I’m fully aware that this blog has become less Korean study and more random rubbish o.o

I guess that’s because instead of studying, Im more of using Korean. Whether it is to read a novel or occasionally speaking it. And there’s really nothing to write about that.

I think the only way for me to show some major improvement is 1) work in a korean company 2) move to korea for a period of time 3) get a Korean bf (only because a bf is someone you are likely to spend more time with compared to friends)

1. No way.
2. No money.
3. Im in my loner world.

Yup so im kinda contented to just keep things as it is.

This train ride is so long.

How are you guys and what have you been doing for Korean? Pls feel free to share ok!!

Pls let me know what you want me to blog about. Ask me anything that you are curious. Pls dont be rude ok

Snippets of my everyday life

I’m spacing out as I’m typing this at 9:41pm on a weekday and I’m here typing away because I simply can’t concentrate and have no energy to do anything else.

Minus off the time spent working and sleeping, I simply have very very few pockets of time left. Let’s ignore my off days first.

A typical day is now left with commute time and the very few hours I have in between work and sleep. I am starting to realise that I’m most productive during my morning commute time, followed by the evening commute and then that few hours before I sleep.

I’m also doing a lot of things during my commute – which includes reading (and studying) Japanese or Korean, reading up on some of my interests (eg. photography), blogging, doing some work stuff or listening to a podcast etc. This has made me realise how important commute time is to the average adult and how it can actually be put to good use. I’m sorry to sound judgemental but I don’t know how people can waste such precious time on playing mobile games every.single.day.

Try as I might, I just don’t get the draw of games like Candy Crush or what not. Personally, I don’t even think games are relaxing or entertaining (purely my personal opinion) – they simply make me more stressed and uptight.

In any case, I try to spend my time more productively these days (in my own terms) and I’m starting to read again instead of just plugging in my iPod. For the past few days, I’ve been bringing 조선 임금 잔혹사 with me and it has been an awesome read so far.

I LOVE READING ABOUT THE JOSEON KINGS.

 

 

I don’t know why I’m sooooo drawn towards that era and I really really wanna be well-versed in that part of history. I guess i’m just weird.

I’m making it a point to spend some time before I sleep checking up all the difficult words and writing them into my k-notebook but it’s proving impossible (like now). I can’t go beyond 30mins without spacing out. I think I should make use of this time to exercise (but I’m so tired)…..

Recently I’ve been taking better care of my skin and I think my efforts are paying off. At least my skin is a lot better than it used to be.

Korea really does wonders for me. I was like a mess (in many ways) before this Korea trip but I’ve been A LOT better after coming back and I hope I can keep it up lol.

My mum wagered that I will lapse back 1 month after coming back but hey I’m still doing well hahahaha.

hahaha this post is getting more random.

Oh, I’m kinda tempted to dye my hair but I can’t decide:

1. if I should

2. what color / style

3. where to go

I have never dyed my hair in Singapore….. Any kind souls wanna recommend a place / stylist? :D

on another note, I’m also looking for photography blog recommendations (:

I’ve also been kinda addicted to looking at instagram accounts of k-models haha. I particularly loveee ireneisgood and I find her style and charisma amazing.

AND HER HAIR.

[Part 1] Sanghoon in Singapore! – Lau Pa Sat & Toa Payoh

SH is the only person whom I met as an online language exchange partner and has now become good friends with. It’s super amazing that we managed to meet in Seoul, Korea (he lives in Busan!) and now we met again in Singapore.

One of those times when I feel awed by how much learning Korean has brought to my life.

Really really happy that SH came! Took so many photos and went to so many places :D

Visited Lau Pa Sat at night for dinner/supper! A visit to LPS definitely had to include satays and I would definitely recommend everyone to eat in the outdoor area instead. Ordered from the famous store 7/8 and we got a complimentary ketupat :P Super happy about it!! SH really liked the food ^^

Ordered a suger cane drink for him and water chestnut for myself (the darker one). I think he was kinda o.O over the dubious color hahaha.

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Nothing’s ever complete without a selca haha.

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Met SH another day for a full-day touring and I decided to bring him to Toa Payoh, one of my favourite neighbourhoods in Singapore. Most tourists will usually tour the city area but I don’t think a visit to Singapore (or any country in the world) is ever complete without going out of the tourist areas to a normal neighbourhood.

Started the day with Ya Kun kaya toast! hahaha I don’t think soft-boiled eggs are his cup of tea.

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the coffee was

 

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Took a walk around the neighbourhood. It was a place I frequented as a kid and I really felt nostalgic. ><

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Really like the rustic feel of the place.

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Brought SH to my favourite coffee shop in the area to let him try rojak and popiah!

Did I mention that it was an eat-and-eat-and-eat-non-stop kinda day? ㅋㅋ

My favorite rojak store!

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haha SH was pretty game about trying new food :D

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popiah

 

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rojak

 

hahaha will you guys wanna try too? :D I assure you it’s good!

There’s a store selling really nice fried urm stuff in the coffee shop so we bought a goreng pisang (erm fried banana) to share! That store was there since I was a KID haha. I used to buy the fried tapioca cake (not a fan of bananas) xD

Happened to see a pasar malam (street market) so we took a walk around. It’s getting rarer to see one of these around Singapore. D:

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next up – SH in Orchard and Arab Street and City Hall! :D

p.s. SH is also featured in some of my Seoul 2014 posts!

Being a tourist in Singapore with Sohee

No, not the Wonder Girls’ Sohee, but my friend Sohee, whom I met during my recent Korea trip.

(blogging schedule is wonky, I should have blogged about that first lol)

I do love how meeting friends in Korea is so.. impromptu and random. A 카톡 friend (whom I’ve never met and seldom talk to) texted me that her friend, Sohee, is coming to SG and would like to introduce us to each other. In the end we ended up meeting as a group of 3 in Korea (and had a great time). Time flies and it was Sohee’s turn to visit SG!

Went to the airport to meet Sohee and proceeded to the city area!

Brought Sohee to my favourite spot – the rooftop at Esplanade.

Sohee brought along a selfie stick (!!!). First time seeing one of those in action and I must say it’s an awesome invention!

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Of course, we started taking selcas.

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Walked to the Merlion Park! :D I really really love the city hall area in Singapore.

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Some of the must-do poses at the park lol.

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Sohee unni being awesome

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Me being mild as usual lol

Love this photo hahahaha

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Later on the evening, met another 2 friends and we went to eat the famous must-eat Chilli Crab! Went to the East Coast Jumbo outlet (for those who are curious)

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I feel like a tourist myself – probably the first time in more than 10 years I’ve visited the ECP seafood place. lol.

Here are the food photos!

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Sambal Kangkong – a must eat

Satay! Grilled meat skewers :D

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Satay with peanut sauce dip

Fried Rice – we needed a staple. This is one of the most common type of fried rice – Yangzhou Fried Rice.

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And not forgetting the crabs! One black pepper and one chilli crab. For those who are ordering the chilli crabs, don’t forget to order a few of those delectable fried buns (mantous) to dip into the sauce. ^^

To be honest, I probably ate chilli crab less than 3 times in my entire life. HAHA. I don’t usually eat crabs and I kind of prefer of my crabs just steamed (bland tastebuds)

(following photo is from my phone because I was lazy to use my camera)

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In any case, I’m totally loving my x100s. It holds up sooo well even in dim lighting. Like I always say, if you see nice photos in this blog, credit the camera (not the photographer lol).

The people over at the next table were very amazed / amused when they saw the selfie stick and I guessed they wanted a part of the fun  :P

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Met up with Sohee again another day for a tour around the city area!

At Orchard with the must-eat ice-cream sandwich from the vendors along the street.

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Rounded off the night at Marina Bay Sands.

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I had loads of fun and hopefully Sohee had a great time too!

p.s. I haven’t been blogging because two Korean friends came to SG consecutively so I spent the week or so being a tourist in my own country. :D

As productive as a snail

No, that didnt make much sense but I think you get the idea.

The older I am, the less motivated I am. Dun get me wrong, Im a firm believer of lifelong learning but recently Im just so tired.

When I get home after work, all I wanna do is lie in bed. Sitting in front of the computer proves to be too much for me. So Im reduced to listening or watching stuff in bed on my iPad. I love technology.

Im addicted to Marriage, not dating. Lol. It totally wasnt on my to watch list but …. xD

I need romance 2013.
Can we love.
Can we get married.
Marriage, not dating.

Rofl. Says a lot about my tastes huh. :/

ㅋㅋㅋ

외롭다 ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ

Im really hungry right now.