Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pre-Recess Week Post

So the moon cake festival at Takashimaya was not disappointing at all despite of what everyone said regarding "No need to go Taka, can do at any mall". What a huge festival with a LOT of moon cakes to sample. I've never seen so many varieties of moon cakes before such as durian, red wine, chocolate, caramel, red beans, even Angry Birds. Kudos to Matt, the local buddy of my UK exchange friends, who guided us through and took us for the fish and chips dinner long-missed by the UK chemists bunch (Yup they're all chemistry majors.No offense to the engineers, but eating with engineers is getting overrated after 4 years of Drexel).

After church Sunday, I went with Ann, Rensy, and Purun to Swensen's. We can say it was quite a spontaneous plan. As a buffet fan, I haven't tried to go to any self-serve buffet in Singapore. It was only a dessert buffet, but that's exactly why it's perfect for girls outing time :) First time I have a piece of real carrot cake in Singapore (as opposed to their carrot cake). We had such a great time that me and Rensy almost forgot that we had a Chomp Chomp dinner appointment with Louis and Rayden, local buddies of ours. More local tastes from the best hawker centre in Singapore (I had asked more than 5 locals to confirm this).

So what's next? Recess week is here! I just need to attend 2 presentations tomorrow morning then off I fly to Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam. The 4 of us (Rensy, Ann, Diana, and I) are travelling together this time. We'll spend Friday through Wednesday exploring Ho Chi Minh and staying at Rensy's house. Another bunch of exchange friends is joining us on Sunday and Monday as they come down from Hanoi and would continue their journey to Phnom Penh. Comes Wednesday, we'll be in Bangkok until Sunday. Very excited for this trip of a lifetime ;)

Friday, September 21, 2012

It's Beginning to Look Like Mid-Autumn!

Back in the States, I had never noticed anything about Mid-Autumn festival unless I go to the Oriental Supermarket only to find that the festival is over from the deeply discounted moon cake prices to get rid of them. Here, though, it's a big deal. The Chinese Society on campus had a festival at our own Yunnan Garden a couple weeks ago. I didn't quite make it since it rained. FairPrice, which is the grocery store chain I go to regularly, even has its own row of lanterns, moon cakes, and so many other festive stuffs.

Speaking on Mid-Autumn festival, I've been attending weekly coffee talks hosted by the International Student Center here. I was quite looking forward to it since the topic was conversational Mandarin. However, I had to say I kinda set my expectation quite low. It was such a neat session of learning Mandarin with Mid-Autumn festival themed lesson. We even had some moon cakes as the Chinese Society taught us about the various type of tea and performed their traditional tea art ceremony (gongfu). I really enjoyed sampling the various traditional teas they had. My favorite is the fully-fermented and aromatic black plum tea (keemun hongcha)
So to join the festivity, me and some UK exchange friends are having lunch and heading to Takashimaya at Orchard Road today. Not to shop for moon cakes (man, they are expensive until the festival ends), but to sample them around hahaha. Pardon us the thrifty expats, we're just college students after all :D

Zhu ni zhong qiou jie kuai le!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Endless Hallelujah

Just wanna share a song that has been playing in the back of my mind a lot since I first heard it on Sunday at church. I couldn't believe I actually cried in the middle of singing it. It reminds me so much about how all the fears and troubles that I have now are nothing in the light of eternity. Looking forward to the day when all I'll do is singing praises to Him, endlessly.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Exchange Life Starts to Get Busy

General warning: please forgive me if this post and future posts are lacking in quality compared to the first ones. My life just got so much busier. Out of the 4 classes I'm taking here, 3 of them are group project oriented. I also caught a flu somehow somewhere. I went to the school clinic and was given some medications. Feeling much better now, thank God!

Since people were mostly away (general majority went to KL, Melaka, Vietnam), it was quite  a quiet weekend for me. I took the chance to catch up with some homeworks, readings, and projects mostly on Friday. Then on Saturday, I went to LEGOLAND! It was the grand opening day in Johor Baru, and I managed to secure a pretty nice Groupon deal that includes 2-way coach and admission. It was really nice to spend the day in a land full of my favorite toy ever as a kid. I got to play with majority of the rides since it was quite small. I was about to enter the driving range, but the guard said "Sorry, this is only for 6 to 13 year olds". Wkwkwkwk :D

Also, coming home from LEGOLAND, I was able to watch the special show celebrating Merlion's 40th birthday. It was pretty awesome and of course, ended with a bang from the fireworks.

Friday, September 7, 2012

What a Crazy Week It Has Been! :)

And by crazy, I really meant I couldn't find another word to describe my week haha. There have just been so much random things going on :D

I finally paid my visit to Holland Village and Night Safari. To compare the 2 on the scale of 1 to 10, I'd give Holland Village a 9 and Night Safari a 3. But keep in mind that I don't like animals, so I might be bias. Anyhow, Holland Village is such a very laid back district with many restaurants and coffee shops to hang out. Typical expats would love this neighborhood. Moreover, there is a branch of Pho Hoa there!!! I haven't had my bowl of pho in quite a long while and definitely need to go back there for that :))

Other than that, upon meeting and befriending some Singaporean and exchange students from the Deli Aprecio club, we kinda created our own subgroup just to do our own food trips together. Our journey began with  Japanese Street at Jurong Point. It was my first time having okonomiyaki, which is Japanese traditional pancake. Yurie, the Japanese in the group, approved that it was quite an authentic Japanese experience. Yay :)

For dessert, we stopped at Ji De Chi for some traditional desserts and snowies. Their idea of dessert here is always something icy. Sweets and cakes, on the other hand, would be considered "snacks".

And to welcome Jia Jia and Kai Kai on their arrival day, the new panda couple at Singapore's Zoo, I had this bowl of udon for lunch with DG gals

My life can't never get random enough, so last night I celebrated Vietnamese independence day with Rensy. The Vietnamese student group here was holding a really interesting show of historical videos, traditional dances, as well as live comedies. I should say watching a comedy in different language has never been funnier, thanks to Rensy for translating :D

Up next for today: Deli Aprecio trip to Bumbu. People said it's a Thai-Indo fusion restaurant quite interestingly. Let's see how it is.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Back from Discovery Weekend

Another week of Singapore awesomeness was just behind me. It's been raining every single day, but today the sun was shining so brightly. A call to do laundry for me haha :D Anyhow, class assignments and readings have started to pick up their dynamics as groups are being formed for our various term projects. Praise the Lord that I got into that one Friday morning class that I thought I wouldn't get. I know the timing sucks, but I need it to graduate. I also joined another club on campus called Deli Aprecio. We had our first meeting this past week, and I'm excited for the activities planned for this club. Woaa, so busy lah. And in the midst of all, I was able to fit a weekday lunch with Giang, a fellow Dragon ending her co-op abroad with Scoot. I visited her during her lunch at Changi and we went for some Japanese food. She's flying back to US in a week or so, and as for now I just don't wanna imagine myself doing the same yet. Send my regards to Broad St., Giang!

A backpacking trip for recess week is being planned as well. I would spend 10 days in Southeast Asia with my girls Diana and Rensy. The original plan was to do Vietnam-Cambodia-Thailand, yet due to safety reasons we've just decided to call Cambodia off and spend more time exploring the other 2 instead. Definitely exciting stuff!

By the way, I've just came back from an overnight Discovery Weekend organized by the lovely campus staffs here at Singapore Cru for college seniors. I heard some cool testimonies as well as talks that were intended to equip all of us to discern God's calling for our lives after graduation. Something that God has put in my heart since last year's Radiate conference was to dedicate a year post my graduation to intern with GAiN. Somehow, I dismissed that call and insisted that it wasn't for me until a couple weeks before I left for Singapore. I felt like God was really pressing it hard on my heart during those times until I couldn't stop thinking about it and finally fell on my knees. After some period of struggles in prayer, I finally forwarded the long-abandoned email from a GAiN staff I met through Radiate to another person in-charge of the interns. I guess we'll wait and see how God's plan for me in this unfolds as we pray for His will to be revealed in my life.