It has been an exciting February. Time for a quick summary of this memorable month.


The shortest month of the year is coming to an end as tomorrow is already the last day of February. I realize that I have to work for only 10 days in this month as I have used a huge amount of my annual leave during the Chinese New Year break early this month. Worked for 10 days and I got a full month’s salary. What’s better than that?

It’s been a very intense and exciting month certainly. The month started with my trip to eastern Europe that took 10 days 8 nights and it covered 6 countries in one go. When I came back with all the great memories (and over a thousand pictures), Chinese New Year celebration was almost over and yet I still got to receive some angpow (good extra cash after multiple huge spending recently).

Despite having returned to Singapore to resume the usual daily work life, I have to get back to KL every weekend to complete my root canal treatment for my tooth. This is very exhausting but what can I do as having this dental treatment back in Malaysia is much more cheaper than in Singapore (still costly). Now, I just hope to get it done as quickly as possible.

Last weekend, I went to Genting Highlands with my parents and stayed for a night (have not stayed a night up there for 2 years already although I have been there quite frequently every year). Went to the casino in both days and lost some money there (always not having any luck). The only good thing is that I was able to upgrade my membership to silver immediately after collected enough points from that merely two days of visit to the casino.

(Image source: Resorts World Genting blog)

Then, comes the biggest awards show on Earth, the Oscars, or formally known as the Academy Awards on its 91st edition on last Sunday. I have been following very closely with the Hollywood awards season this year (just like the same in the past couple of years). I have posted all my thoughts to the winners and losers in my previous post. My final thought; I’m still feeling bad for Glenn Close for not being able to win her first Oscar after 7 nominations. I wonder what Academy is doing?! Even the eventual best actress winner, Olivia Colman felt bad for her as mentioned in her acceptance speech. Close is such a legendary actress that should have gotten multiple Oscars for her past film roles. And yet, she remains Oscar-less to this day. This is so unbelievable. Let’s hope that she gets another impressive role very soon, get nominated again and wins it finally.

(This is seriously the most shocking moment of the 91st Academy Awards ceremony when Olivia Colman is announced as best actress winner over heavy favourite Glenn Close. Image source: Gold Derby)

Last but not least, I have managed to finish watching a Hong Kong drama titled ‘I Bet Your Pardon’, starring Kent Cheng, Kent Tong, Selena Lee, Babyjohn, Dominic Ho, James Ng, Connie Man, Ada Wong, etc. It’s a 30-episodes period drama about a kind-hearted con artist who transitioned into being a film producer and is being framed and tormented by a powerful corrupt detective. The romance part of the story is boring and isn’t making any sense. Other than that, the series is generally quite enjoyable and not as lousy as previously predicted (as it is a Wong Jing’s production). The series gets exciting near its end after draggy story development in the earlier parts. Out of 10 points, I would rate the drama a total of 7.0. It’s opening song is quite catchy. This is my first TVB drama of the year that I have fully watched. Now, I’m beginning to watch this new drama called ‘The Ghetto-Fabulous Lady’. It’s another period drama and it looks good so far.

(Image source: Starhub)

That’s it for my wrapping up of the month.

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Explored sandy side of the city last weekend and artistic side of the city this weekend.


On last weekend, me and my friend went for our usual outing for movie but we decided to choose the place other than the ones we commonly been to in the past. We found this neighborhood called Katong (we have not visited before) with a small mall where we can catch our movie and also explore the area in the same time. Walking through the streets in this area makes me feel like I am in Georgetown, Penang with plenty of colonial-looking shophouses, narrow covered walkways, roadside bars, and low-rise buildings (mostly highrises in every parts of Singapore).

The best part of this area is that it is located very near to the East Coast Park where I had my first ever visit to a beach in Singapore. Although beach here is not something to die for (looks pretty normal), but the view during the sunset is still simply amazing. The East Coast Park looks great too.

As for this weekend, I went back to the city for some further exploring, and this time, to check out more on the artistic side of the city right in the CBD area. A lot of walks are needed to make it happen and to allow me to view more of the sculptures, statues, arts and cultures of the city.

There is also an on-going fun fair happening right besides the iconic Marina Bay Sands. Although I didn’t participate or play anything in this carnival, but I do felt fun just by watching other people enjoying the games and rides offered there. The evening ended with a spectacular water and light show (called Spectra) in front of the Marina Bay Sands. This show happens every evening for couple of times.

I have to agree that although Singapore is very tiny, but there is still plenty of areas or places that we have not discovered yet and should go and explore particularly on free weekends (especially when I was just been here for less than a year).

Finally, X’mas mood is on after all the hard work in the past one month!


Christmas is just three days away and finally, my X’mas mood comes. Luckily it is not too late. My X’mas mood equals to relaxing mode, lazy mode, holiday mode or whatever mode that relates to any of these three. I have been rushing for detailed design drawings over the past one month and finally it’s over yesterday (just for that stage though…more works to come, but gotta only deal with that later). I felt relieved after a month of staying back in the office everyday and also the habit of bringing the job pressure back to home that is affecting my sleep frequently.

With no crazy deadline anymore (for now), things are right on time for me to enjoy this Christmas season. I had an awesome Christmas party at the office yesterday’s afternoon. We literally only worked for half day on the stress-free Friday. Many events were in place for me and my colleagues in the whole afternoon; buffet lunch, birthday celebration, games, photo session, gift exchange and lucky draw! This is the craziest Christmas party I ever had and I certainly had a fun time after the intense one month of heavy workload (had to produce nearly 200 drawings! in one month).

I received two bottles of room diffuser as Christmas gift and I also get rewarded with 60 dollar of shopping voucher from winning in games I participated. Not bad (could have been better if I get to win at least something in the lucky draw but ended up my name not being called for that)! Anyway, the best thing coming is that my office is closed on Christmas’ eve (next Monday) and New Year’s eve (the following Monday). Two long weekend in a row for me to enjoy before another new year arrives! Also not to mention the year end bonus that I received (although not that satisfied with the amount…haha).

By the way, today is the Dongzhi Festival (Winter Solstice)! Time to have some ‘tang yuan’ (Chinese dessert made of glutinous rice flour in balls served with soup…it is the traditional food for this festival) and enjoy the day of reunion with family! Happy Dongzhi Festival and also early Christmas greeting to all!

Spent the Saturday exploring Tampines area.


Going to the usual places on the weekend seems to be a bit boring already. Singapore is a very small island but still I believe there are many places that I have yet to explore. Tampines is a neighbourhood area near to the Changi Airport on the east side of the island. I been there before and had visited the Tampines Mall which is right besides the MRT station that makes the trip very convenient.

However, only did I realize yesterday that there are much more to explore in that area and these places are just right beside one another. Hence, on a single Saturday (yesterday), me and my friend visited 4 places at one go in Tampines. They are Our Tampines Hub, Century Square, Tampines Mall and Tampines Central. 4 malls and they are like just right next door to each other. It makes the area very lively and happening.

Our Tampines Hub is my most favourite as it is not an ordinary indoor air-conditioned mall full of commercial activities and shops. It is an open sheltered complex that I would call it more as a community-focused mall. Why? It has a stadium (yes, a stadium integrated to the mall), jogging track, sport arena (plenty of courts for badminton, tennis, ping pong, etc), community farm, sky garden, hawker centre, supermarket, retails, dining area, BBQ venue, karaoke, gymnasium, clinic, children learning facilities, free outdoor movie screening, children playground, rock climbing zone, bowling arena, etc. It has so many things that are family-friendly and it makes the place ‘complete’. It is certainly a nice experience exploring this place, its circulation and its architecture.

The day didn’t just end there in that 4 malls. Since Tampines is quite close to the Changi Airport as stated earlier, we head to the airport to spend the remaining evening before eventually returning home respectively. Changi Airport is known to be one of the world’s best airports and it is certainly true. It has a lot of terminals and we were just wondering around at Terminal 2 and 3 (they are near to MRT) and observing people getting ready to take their flight (not us).

So now, time to look out for new places to check out in this tiny island next time.

 

Deepavali’s Eve at two malls and a movie!


Another post with sincere Deepavali greeting to all who are celebrating this festival especially to my Indian friends! Although they only got to enjoy the festival with only one day of public holiday (as opposed to other main races in the country of which they got to have two days of public holiday for their big festival aka Hari Raya Aidilfitri for the Malays and Chinese New Year for the Chinese), but my blog here dedicated two posts (not one) of Deepavali greeting for my Indian friends! Although Indians make up a very small population in the country, but they are still one of the three main races of the nation and deserves two days of public holiday for their main festival too which is Deepavali! I’m totally supporting for that call! (haha, who doesn’t love extra holiday?!).

I have been hearing more fireworks this year in conjunction with this celebration compared to the previous years when the clock strikes 12am last night. Yesterday on the day of Deepavali’s Eve, I went to two malls; Sunway Velocity Mall in the afternoon for lunch and shopping and Pavilion KL in the evening for a movie. Although the scale of decorations for this festival is miniature compared to others but I am still amazed by the iconic ‘kolam’ decoration that is synonymous with Deepavali. In case you didn’t know, ‘kolam’ is a form of drawing that is drawn by using rice flour, chalk, chalk powder or rock powder, often using naturally or synthetically colored powders. It is usually in the form of a geometrical line drawing composed of curved loops, drawn around a grid pattern of dots and is thought to bring prosperity to Indian homes.

(The very happening Pavilion KL’s entrance and ‘Kolam’ decoration in its main atrium in conjunction with Deepavali Festival 2018)

I did mentioned earlier that I watched a movie last night and the movie is ‘Hunter Killer’. Here’s a quick review for the film. The movie revolves on an untested American submarine captain who teams with U.S. Navy Seals to rescue the Russian president, who has been kidnapped by a rogue general. The movie starred Gerard Butler, Gary Oldman, Common, etc. Forget about those serious critics’ reviews that only desire for lengthy character development or emotional depth and gave this film bad rating. Ignore them (and ignore the low rating it has from Rotten Tomatoes).

This type of action film does not requires those elements and will still work perfectly fine especially to the general moviegoers. The only thing crucial is the suspense, intensity build-up and the actions and this film certainly delivered! I was glued to the screen the whole time and was very engaged to this fast-paced story. It is also refreshing to see a war movie to be based mostly on underwater (submarine) rather than typical setting on land or air (this movie also has certain scenes on land and in the air, making it very well-rounded). Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Hunter Killer’ a total of 8.2. A much less popular film at the cinemas now but certainly should not be missed especially if you are looking for an intense action-packed war movie.

(First, fourth and fifth images in this post are from various online sources)

 

Deepavali holiday back in Malaysia.


Happy Deepavali to all my Indian friends and to the others who are celebrating this wonderful festival! May this Festival of Lights be a festival of joy, peace and prosperity!

This year’s Deepavali falls on a Tuesday (tomorrow) and many people including me are taking leave today (Monday). That means we got to enjoy a four-days long break after counting in the past weekend. I was definitely not missing out this opportunity to return to KL for a long holiday, desired entertainment, deserving rest and to reunite with my family.

Surprisingly, the bus trip back to KL from Singapore on last Friday’s evening was not as bad as I expected. There were massive congestion of cars but my trip was not affected as we are on the bus lane that was less crowded. I was still to reach home at around 3 to 4am as usual (I was reminded back then when I only got to arrive at home by 6am when I cam back to KL during the Raya holiday).

This long break allows me to have a good bonding time with my family. I also got to play rummy game with my family on last Saturday’s evening after dinner (didn’t play it for quite a long time already). Then, we spent the whole Sunday at Genting Highlands. Although most of us lost some money up there (me included, but I’m glad I only lost a bit), but we were still enjoying the trip with some awesome time especially when riding the Awana Skyway cable car from the Premium Outlet to the mountain resort at the top (my second ride). It’s really hard to win money from Genting (if not, Genting won’t be as grand, big and wealthy as it is today).

This time around, most parts of the new indoor mall called Sky Avenue at Genting Highlands have opened up to the public including cool outdoor dining area, cinema, etc. However, the indoor theme park inside the mall isn’t opened yet (it will open most probably on January 2019). The very much delayed outdoor theme park (20th Century Fox World) is still under-construction but all the shapes and main structures were built already. After years of delay, I’m expecting it to finally open end of next year. By the way, it looks very small and compact. The new Sky Avenue mall has taken up a huge chunk of the land, hence reducing the area of the outdoor theme park unfortunately.

(Image source: http://www.themeparx.com/20th-century-fox-world-malaysia)

Time flies. I’m returning to Singapore tomorrow’s afternoon and my ordinary working life resumes after that. Anyway, I’m still cherishing the break I have back at home. The next long holiday that I have got to enjoy would be the Christmas break end of this year.

Movie and library session today at Orchard.


It would be boring if the outing every weekend is just for watching a movie and do some ‘window shopping’ (a term for just looking around in mall but not buying anything). A movie is still a must (I’m a movie buff) but let’s add up some other things to do (and most preferably, something that does not cost money in this city where the cost of living is super high). The first thing that came to my mind recently is heading to a library.

Since staying here in Singapore from late April onward, I have never visited a library in this island. Me and my friend looked up on the web and found one really cool library and it is located at Orchard Road, the famous road lined with shopping malls. We decided to head there this afternoon after lunch and had a quick reading of some books in this very quiet place. The library is quite small and has very few seating place (unless you want to sit on the floor which may be inconvenient for people to walk through). I also find that the atmosphere in there is way too quiet which makes just a bit of talk feel very stressful. There should be some rooms dedicated for discussion.

We stayed there for about an hour and left to roam the malls and street in that bustling area. Next, we went to our usual ‘movie-in-the-weekend’ session and we watched ‘Halloween’, a horror slasher film that hits the timing as its release coincide with the Halloween Festival which is just around the corner. The movie which is a direct sequel to the famous 1978 film of the same name follows Laurie who survived from the 1978 film, and is now prepared to face the psychopathic masked killer, Michael Myers once again. Well, the film delivered with some genuine suspenseful moments, clever moves, brilliant kills (much better if some of them are shown in more details and length), and some quick gory scenes. Although the first half of the movie felt a bit draggy, but once it reaches the last half, all the excitement and tension comes in. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Halloween’ (2018) a total of 7.6.

On the other hand, I actually had watched another new film early this week. It was the ‘Incredibles 2’. It is the sequel to 2004’s ‘The Incredibles’ (waited 14 years for its sequel!…that’s such a long wait). In case you didn’t know anything about it, ‘Incredibles’ is an animated superhero film and in this sequel, the Parr family (family of five with everyone having different superpower) tries┬áto restore public’s trust in superheroes while balancing their family life, only to combat a new foe who seeks to turn the populace against all superheroes. The first film was one of my most favourite animated films while this sequel couldn’t become a classic in my personal opinion. The plot is just being too ordinary (too predictable) and there is nothing impressively new added in (besides than Jack Jack’s possession of multiple powers), However, it is still highly entertaining and I had a great fun watching it. It is certainly a much needed sequel to the 2004 film and I’m not disappointed at all. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Incredibles 2’ a total of 7.4. So far, there isn’t any outstanding animated films released this year. Anyway, congratulation to ‘Incredibles 2’ for making huge bucks at the box office (grossed over US$ 1.2 billion worldwide so far and is currently the fourth highest grossing film of 2018, second highest grossing animated film and 16th highest grossing film of all time – unadjusted for inflation).

(Images in this post are from multiple online sources)