April-May is the period of examinations in NUS. This semester is rather peculiar, usually work intensifies towards the exams and drops dramatically after the exams. But this time round, I had a very fun pre-exams (I even had 3 free days in week 13!) and life after exams was very busy as I needed to shift out of utown and run a number of errands. Now that they are settled, I can fly off and enjoy my summer adventure. 🙂
In chronological order:
1. Malay oral presentation.
For the Malay language class, we have to form groups of 3-4 and put together a 10-12 min skit in Malay. We could do anything that we wanted to as long as it 1) makes the teacher laugh and 2) includes either “tolong jangan tinggalkan barang-barang anda tanpa diawasi” or “sila ambil berhatian, demi keselamatan anda, sila berdiri di belakang garisan kuning”. If you’re a Singaporean reading this, these two lines should sound familiar. They are essentially our SMRT announcements and the former means “please don’t leave your belongings unattended” and the latter means “your attention please, for your safety, please stand behind the yellow line”. Speaking of which, I miss hearing the announcement about the yellow line. Now we have platform doors at every MRT station and this renders the announcement irrelevant.
So my group (Kelicia, Corina, Kennedy and I) met up in Kelicia’s place and rehearsed. We had a lot of fun rehearsing because our skit was ridiculous. We had a hard time trying not to laugh at each other. Kelicia’s house has many animals (3 guinea pigs, many koi fishes and a dog), we had a lot of fun playing with the hyperactive dog.
The classmates and teacher enjoyed our performance very much. Our skit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTqAy3fTM6U
I went for karaoke on back-to-back days – first with Suen Li then with my family on the next day. I went with Suen Li to the KBox outlet in Choa Chu Kang and it was so nice to be in a familiar karaoke outlet (knowing how to adjust the volume and select the songs) and sing Chinese songs. We then hung out after that and had a nice catch-up. I have not seen her for close to 10 months but somehow I always feel comfortable talking to her about everything. I guess this is the hallmark of a lasting friendship. On the next day, I went to the Temasek Club karaoke with my family to celebrate my brother’s birthday. We had the privilege to go there because my brother had some NS vouchers. It is located at a rather inconvenient location but I guess most country clubs are not exactly the most accessible. It has a fairly nice environment, I like how quiet and peaceful it is.
3. Stay over.
I love it when my friends come over for stay overs. Esther stayed a couple of times and recently, Beiyu came to have a stay over. It was nice to study together, eat together and sleep together. I feel this is a very good way to strengthen friendships especially in the university when there are too many lecture-only friends. I also feel quite bored sometimes when I don’t have someone to share my day with.
4. Gastronomical food trail (post-exams celebration).
Going on a food trail is the best way to celebrate after the exams! I went with Beiyu to K-Food Talk Family Restaurant at 28 Tanjong Pagar Road. Being accustomed to looking up a directory in the shopping malls, we had a little adventure trying to locate this restaurant. But it is a very nice Korean restaurant owned by a Korean and the Korean food they have there seems quite authentic. I like the mixture of flavours that they serve there which is quite unseen of in many Korean food restaurants in Singapore. Because it was a family business, the ambience was friendly and a lady kept coming by to make sure that the fire wasn’t too strong and that we were enjoying our meal. Later on, the staff sat down and watched a Korean period drama in Korean intently on the television set. Overall, it was a very nice dining experience, I would love to re-visit the restaurant one day!
I visited the Chye Seng Huat Hardware with Valerie another day and we also had a rather hard time trying to locate the cafe. From the outside, it looks like a run-down hardware shop and we couldn’t find the entrance. I imagined that since it is located in a rather inconvenient location, it will be quite quiet. In the end, there were many people in the cafe. I like the idea of this cafe – it seems to fuse the western cafe with kopitiam (our local coffee shop) so it appears very unique as compared to Starbucks outlets. We had good conversations over coffee and brownie cake. I can’t believe I only knew her for a year – it felt a lot longer than that.
I also visited the famous Lim Seng Lee Duck Rice Eating House at South Buona Vista Road with my family. My family eat there quite frequently because my father happens to be working around there. It was also rather inconvenient to get there – most of its patrons travel there by car. I was shocked to see a very long line there and that many patrons were armed with DSLR cameras in the eating house. The owner recently announced that he would retire and close the shop on 20th June 2013 and because of that, many Singaporeans flock there to want to taste the famous duck rice for the very last time.
5. Mother’s day.
Mother’s day is a rather big and overly-commercialized thing here. Because it is Singapore, people tend to express their gratitude towards their mothers by splurging on food. Even though Osim suggests getting massage chairs for mothers and floral shops suggest buying flowers for them, most people still prefer to splurge on food. I had multiple Mother’s day dinner celebrations and that includes a SGD100 per person dinner at the Lei Gardens. I knew it would be expensive the moment I saw how they served the abalones on individual plates.
The weather has also been really peculiar these days, it could be really sunny with blue skies and 5 minutes after that, I can hear thunder and see some dark clouds. That makes it rather irritating to plan for outdoor activities like swimming or running. I am not sure how things work but somehow this strange weather leads to pretty sunsets. 夕阳无限好，只是近黄昏。