Lilypie - First Birthday

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Singapore


OK, this post is after I discovered the wonders of Picasa collage maker. So much more convenient to blog when I don't have to upload pictures one-by-one. :-P

Leo and I flew to Singapore via AirAsia last Friday (15th Jan) to attend my friend's wedding. Ye Hsin was my secondary schoolmate/ Leo Club member back in the old school years. Actually YH and I weren't really close when in school cos we weren't classmates, but after graduation while putting up in Si Min's house on weekends in KL we just clicked, and here I am, as her jimui, eight years after we last saw each other! Her reception was held in Hilton, Orchard Road. Thanks to her invitation, I had the chance to visit Singapore for the first time. Well, technically this is the second time, but I wouldn't count the time where I was locked up in the Year 2000 Leo Forum resort as one. The reason why I never visited after that? Well, Singapore is always there, a little speck down south and it never occurred to me to visit. Everybody seemed to give me a jaw-dropping reaction though when I told them that it was my first time to Singapore. :-P

Singapore Impressions

One. Singapore is like, so green!! Sitting in the back of the Mitsubishi Lancer as Leo's Uncle James drove us from Changi Airport, I had the impression that I was cruising through a garden city. Leo said it's like Penang's Greenlane, everywhere! Huge, leafy, lush green trees everywhere with the highways with no jam entwined neatly in between, creepers on the walls, rows and rows of blooming bougainvilleas, everything was clean and well-maintained, even the foliage. Not a fallen leaf in sight.

Two. Maintenance. Walking out from the aircraft into Changi's Terminal 1, it really didn't feel like an old terminal at all. Compare that to our Penang airport. Everything is so clean that you can roll on the floor and not need to bathe afterwards.

Three. There are no hawker centers and Indian stalls smack in the middle of the road and no jaywalking and no dirty old men and no double-parking and no stupid motorcyclists zooming dangerously in-and-out of the traffic. And all the cars on the road are kept spotless and new. And their roads are really clean! All their hawkers are relocated into foodcourts at the HDB flats or into malls. Jaywalkers are fined, double-parking cars are fined and stupid motorcyclists causing havoc are fined. As they say, well, Singapore is a FINE city! And, I didn't see any dirty old men anywhere, everybody is young and thin and dressed very well and walk very fast. It was like all the old people were kept hidden away, somewhere. And there was a whole lot of angmoh! Malaysia is really losing out to Thailand and Singapore...

Four. Need to walk a lot if you don't have a car and need to live in a flat. Well, actually, it is really inconvenient if you don't own a car nevermind which country you are in, but imagine if you work in Singapore and you have to save money and not buy a car and have to hand-carry all your grocery items: Dynamo, dish-washing liquid, apples, toilet paper roll all the way from the shopping center to the MRT and walk back to your flat. And the lift only stops at a few floors: 1, 6 and 11. Sucks if you had to stay on the 3rd floor cos the rent's cheap. But you will slim down helluva lot faster. And as for flats, the older HDB flats are larger, around 1200sf while the newer ones are a lot smaller, around 700sf, although their designs look nicer.

Picture below: The right one is the new HDB flat design, looks nice right? But really small so people usually prefer to buy older flats. The left one is a condo which few people can well-afford in Singapore. We stayed at Ee Geok & Uncle James' place which was a 10-min walk away from Buangkok MRT station.

Five. No, I haven't ended yet. Singapore is such a short distance away from Malaysia. I always thought that it would just be like another state or something. But the reality is, it is such a different country from ours! Everything is so efficient here. The residential area is so clean and safe and bright even at night, and you don't have to worry of getting mugged here when walking back late at night. And Singapore feels like a mini-USA filled with Chinese, cos all the signboards here are in English and everybody speaks English and the shopping malls are filled with products and brands that are so canggih and uncommon in Malaysia. But is is funny to have four different languages as their national language because almost 80% of the population there is Chinese.

Singapore Flyer

After resting a while in Uncle James place, we took the MRT out to City Hall to wait for the Funvee bus to go to the Singapore Flyer (giant ferris-wheel). I was a bit frustrated for the wait because we had just missed the first Funvee by an inch. It was nice to sit on the open-top bus and go around the city area, very touristy, I enjoyed it very much. Saw the Fountain of Wealth at Suntec City.


The Singapore Flyer ride cost around S$44 after 25% off Citibank card for 2 pax. We almost had a capsule to ourselves (private capsule cost S$1000) but at the last second another couple walked in. Dang! One rev took around half an hour. We kept on taking pictures of the same view, the Esplanade and the Floating Stadium, over and over again.


After the Flyer, we took the MRT to Clarke Quay to meet up with the girls, some of which I hadn't met for 10 years since graduating from high school! OMG, Nicole, Jia Hui and Lee Sian. My usual girl gang, KK, Si Min and Chiew Yun were there too. While having dinner at a fish-and-chips place called Fisherman's Wharf near Central, we talked and talked a lot about boyfriends, ex-boyfriends, the lack of them, different types of fish, marriage, career, travels, Romania and vampires and Singapore and etc. It was amazing to see all of them again. But too bad, I forgot to take a group photo with my camera! *Boohoo! ;-(


After that, Leo & I walked around Clarke Quay to check out the clubbing hotspots, hot S'pore chicks, the beautifully lit-up river, G-Max reverse bungee and the unusual Turkish ice-cream seller. The Central mall is great! So many unique things to see and buy! I must visit again sometime!


Monday, January 11, 2010

新居入伙!

去年,爸爸在怡保买了一间新屋子。
新屋子当然比旧屋子大间,以后我们的家庭成员人数增长,住也会舒服得多。

昨天是新居入伙的好日子,我们买了炭炉、火种、火炭,在门前挂上漂亮的红彩,然后就拿着食物跨过火炉进新家吃饭。
第一次举行入伙仪式,很兴奋。
虽然还有很多东西还没办好,譬如家具全都没搬进来、厨房的东西还没补好、窗帘还没挂上,但先入伙取个好意头,是好事来的。

想不到下次回家,就可以住进新的环境了。很期待!
希望在新的家居,可以一家大小平平安安,家和万事兴!

P/S: 新居的照片,迟点才补贴上来啦!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Hello 2010!

Looking back on the past year, I realized I should have blogged more. I am still at 60% of my USA trip and my recent surge of Christmas-related posts was only due to the season fever. There's still Disneyland and Flagstaff and Vegas to go! And of course, Facebook! Ever since I started using it I found out that I could post far more pictures and elicit more responses there as compared to my blog. I will definitely make it a resolution to blog more, especially about daily stuff. I think I have been blogging too much about my travels which happened too long ago, when most of the time for the past year, it was more about the mundane, everyday stuff that happened. Things going on in my head when I'm running at the gym, in the shower, when I'm alone. Things which I always tend to forget before I remember to blog them down. My feelings and thoughts.

Back to my year 2009. I actually thought that it was a boring year with nothing much happening to me. Compared to year 2008, which was a blast!!! I felt the excitement start to wane as I spent my first day of 2009 on a plane from Los Angeles back to Malaysia. But as I reviewed through year 2009 from my blog, in fact there were many things that did happen, many life-changing things that meant so, so much to me.

1. I lost my beloved grandmother to Parkinson's disease, on a day which I will never ever forget because it is also one of my best friend's birthday. Those who know me well definitely know that I have a memory of a goldfish and I am never, ever able to remember dates, especially other people's birthdays. There are only two of my friends whom I can remember, and hers was one of them. Last month (I really can't remember the date...), my family members went back to kampung to visit my grandma's newly-finished grave. In front of the grave was a huge Bible carved out of stone, with the pages flipped to John 3:16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life." For a moment I stood there and looked around at the beautiful hills surrounding the graveyard and at my little cousins playing and wandering nearby and I felt at peace with the world. Ah Ma, you are in better hands now, in the loving hands of the Lord. :-)

2. Leo finally came back from the States and we bought a new house! Which we can't wait for it to finish building so that we can start decorating our cozy little nest.

3. Went to Bali with my best friends from uni and celebrated my birthday there!

4. We cemented our relationship status the day I officially became Mrs. Lim. Love, love, love! ♥ My friend actually wrote in his newspaper article that we are one of his few friends to get hitched so early. A long time ago, when I was still single and desperately looking for love, I would always think to myself, oh God, just give me a guy who loves me. He may not be rich, but most importantly be a man of ambition and we'll work our way up the career ladder together. Well today, my search for The One finally ends here. Since I already found him, why wait any longer for us to get married?

As for my 2009 resolutions, I did not make any save for one. With many of my good friends going overseas to further their studies, I felt truly inspired by their courage to pursue their dreams. I promised myself that when I turn 26, I will definitely make a change in my life. Not marriage, but something in my career. I decided to go back to school. And I did. I managed to get in. But this decision will make my 2010 a more challenging year ahead.

Year 2010. A year of new beginnings. This is the year I'm going to have my wedding dinner (which is happening in less than a month away!), the year I'm going to further my studies overseas, the year we'll have to work doubly hard at our new-found relationship status. Wish me all the best and I wish you all a very fruitful year ahead! Happy 2010!