Sunday, September 11, 2016

JCS - Year 3 Studying Japanese

So I'm now struggling with my year 3 of my Japanese Language lesson. The fact that my brother helped me made a full payment of the yearly fees means I can't quit until at the end of the year else I can't get my money back. It cost around SGD800 a year. Anyway I did managed to come this far. The above is my year 2 certificate after I pass my exams. Here is the score. Not really outstanding, but always better than what I score for my mandarin language in school eh?

You'd think I would score better seeing my working environment is a great place for me to improve my language skill! But sadly not. My grammar sucks, and so does my vocal. A colleague help me mark and update my essay before the exam, so I just memorised it and write it down during the exams :)

So now, coming to almost the end of Year 3, what have I been up to? Not much, just folding origami in class.  And from time to snacking is also a favourite pastime. 

So yeah, the journey continues. Exam is coming in another 2 month's time. Not sure if I can pass it, but sure as hell going to give it my best shot! Here's a photo of me studying hard at last year's exam in some posh cafe. Somehow every photo looks nicer with Japanese wordings in it. Lol.  After this year, I would have completed 50 chapters of my text book. Am wondering whether I should continue on next year where it is mostly conversation and presentation style of lessons. I still can't understand the language smoothly, but it is enough for me to read simple comics, watch youtube, survived in Japan with my broken Japanese and read cooking instructions when I want to buy weird food back. I'm pretty happy about it. Just wondering how to become smooth in it.....

Friday, September 9, 2016

Biz Trip - Taiwan Snacking

This post entry is on all the weird things I eat in my January 2016 trip to Taipei. My normal routine when I'm there is usually to wake up super early 5am, 6am or 7am and go visit the convenient store to see what amazing things I can find. After that I will go back to the hotel for breakfast before headed to work. In the evening, after work, I will also head to convenient store, night market, supermarket or whatever that is still open to explore. So here are all the things I tried in my last trip there.

 Let's start with this weird Taipei set dinner I got from Taipei 101 foodcourt at the basement. I walked there after coming down from Elephant Mountain and just walking aimlessly till I hit Taipei 101. To be frank, everything was expensive to me at the food court except for this. It looked really nice on the photo too, so I ordered it, costing maybe SGD6? Consist of fried rice, oyster omelet with like no oyster in it, and some fishball soup. It was filling, but taste wise, just ok.

Above are some of the snacks I got from their convenient store: Cup noodles  (SGD1 each) are always a favourite to try. They also always have cute Doraemon buns available (SGD1 or so). It's just normal buns, but the packaging are so cute! I also tried the famous Milk Tea that Singaporeans are crazy about there for the first time. It cost maybe SGD2? It was really nice and smooth. In Singapore they are selling at around SGD2.90 and was recently recalled from all 7-11 stores. And one of my favourite thing which I only managed to try once are those delicious canelle  from Sogo basswood foodcourt. Each one cost around SGD2.50, and they have it in classic and chocolate and omg, super nice! I went back the next day but it was sold out. Gonna make it a point to visit that place every time I am there.

On my last working day, me and my colleague tried a Japanese steamboat restaurant just at the back of our office. It was a long tough week, so we were kinda rewarding ourselves with a good meal. It cost around maybe SGD30? But the food was so fresh! Super delicious! Especially on a cold rainy day. The only complaint I had was at the end of it when I threw what I thought was flower petals into the soup but it was finely shredded ginger instead. After which, I just couldn't drink the soup any more.

The hotel that I stay in give us a complimentary welcome drink which I somehow always claim it during my checkout while waiting for my taxi. So I would head to the bar which overlooks the pool. I would usually select the Taiwan Beer, and they serve it with a side of nuts. My Taiwan colleague gave me a set of limited postcard, so I decided to write them to my parents and aunt and myself. Mine never reached :( 

Lastly, Taiwan is famous for the beef noodles, but this was one of the best I had there. It was actually at the airport, and I wanted to clear some time and money, so I decided to order this beef noodle at the food place just next to the Sanrio Hello Kitty store. It was delicious! I would definitely go there again on my next trip!

And to end this post, a special mention of Haba Cafe, a small cozy coffee shop found in an alley opposite our office. Maybe it was the rain, or the company, or the ambiance, or even the design of the cup, but when we were there relaxing with a cup of coffee on a cold day and cracking dumb jokes, I swear it was the coffee that was helping us destress. This is another must-go-again place for me. The owner already added me as friends even though we've never talked.  They have a wide selection of flavoured coffee for you to try. So do drop by if you are in Taipei. It cost around SGD3 per cup.


Thursday, September 8, 2016

Pokemon Cafe Singapore

Every girl in Singapore is going crazy about Hello Kitty Orchid Garden Cafe that has opened in Changi Airport Terminal 3 (more about that in a separate post), but my friend here wanted to go Pokemon Cafe, a pop-up cafe in Bugis Junction instead. It wasn't a planned trip. We were just meeting up to watch "Me before You", and after that we just drop by Pokemon Cafe to see if there was a crowd. Unfortunately there was, so we went elsewhere instead. But just around 9pm, I suggested we take a look again, and voila, here we are!

Look how exited she looks! Snapping away at the deco, at the food. It's always fun to see people so excited over things they love. 

We already had dinner, so this was just a light snack. I ordered the coffee, and she ordered some blue looking drink which she gets to keep the bottle. The red Pokemon mug was also a gift you can take home with you 

My friend also ordered the pancake, which looks kinda sad and flat, lol. And I ordered a weird tasting dessert as shown below. It was kinda hard to eat for me cause it was filled with cream and lots of artificial mango or passion fruit flavouring. But it looks kinda awesome though.

 My Hello Kitty charm went along as well and I couldn't resist snapping photo of it. In all, I think we spend about SGD60. It was more for the experience than for the food. I think Hello Kitty Cafe serves better quality food with better settings and deco. Plus, there was only like 6 meal item or so you could order from the menu, and maybe as many drink selection to go with it. It wasn't extensive as it was just a pop-up store. But still, it was fun going there and actually having experienced it.

Me Before You

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Handmade MacBook Air Cover

23-January-2016, before I head home from Taipei, I had one location on my list of to-do, and that was to visit Yong-Le Fabric Market. I remember it was going to be a tough call cause the place was hard to get to, and I didn't have much time as I wanted to do some sight seeing before heading to the market. It was also raining quite heavily that day, and I almost wanted to give up after walking for 15minutes after the train station, not knowing whether I was headed for the right direction or not. But luckily I didn't give up and finally made it there. And I was rewarded with Japanese Character Fabric! See above of Cinnamon-Chan! It's so cute!!! 

I knew exactly what I wanted to make out of it, a cover for my new MacBook Air. I wanted something fun and colourful and initially thought of making a Hello Kitty cover, but when I saw these comic strip Cinnamon-chan fabric, I just had to buy it! It's too cute! So above is the picture of the making of the cover.

As always, the inside is made of another special cloth. I made this one shinny and stylish.

This is the end product, and it fits my MacBook just nicely with some to spare (cause I sucks at measurements....). And the wonderful thing about this is, I bring my MacBook with me every time I go on a business trip, and Cinnamon-Chan really cheers me up every time I look at it.

I also got 2 types of Hello Kitty fabric which I have not made into anything yet. In total, I spend about SGD50 in the market. It was only one particular store by an old lady that sold all the Japanese character fabric. I spend so much at her store she gave me her name card and ask me to  call her to check when the next stock is coming in. I don't mind visiting it again next I'm in Taipei. But the market closes on Sunday, and Saturday is usually my mad rush to sight see and catch the taxi to the airport. Hope to visit again soon!


Tuesday, September 6, 2016


Last year 2015, Jollibee open a store in Lucky Plaza Orchard and it was havoc! The queue were super long every weekend, and even though I made a few effort to go there and try the famous Philippine fast food, it was always packed! And that includes one time I met my brother at 830am to walk there for breakfast and the crowd was unbelievable at such an early morning that we didn't even made it into the building!


But at last, it was meant to be, cause early this year 2016, Jollibee open a branch just right below my office at Changi City Point! But again, the queue was super long! I didn't get to try it, even when I come down for dinner at 8 or 9 pm! The queue was insane! But one day, my lunch hour was pushed to 3:30pm, so me and my PM went down and the queue was short! So we went in! Finally!

She has tried it before and she recommended I try the spaggetti and fried chicken. It was kinda expensive for such a small portion of food actually. The above cost around SGD6 or SGD7 without drinks. But the spaghetti was surprisingly sweet and nice, although I can't say it is healthy. And the  fried chicken has a nice fragrance to it. Actually, I like the batter of the fried chicken very much. It was very simple and not salty. It was definitely better than Arnold's Fried Chicken at Payar Lebar, and actually quite comparable to KFC on a good day.

So yeah. I did eventually went back for 1 or 2 more times. I love the smell of the fried chicken, but the chicken is not really as tender as KFC's.  The queue is still long, especially on Friday lunch time, but I'm glad it is now so accessible to me!

Arnold's Fried Chicken

Monday, September 5, 2016

Biz Trip - Taipei LINE Shop

22-January 2016, on the last day of my 2nd business trip to Taipei this year, it was a rainy day, and a tough week. I remember having a good Japanese steamboat after work with my colleague just to reward ourselves. (if time permits, I'll post that in another post). And we finished dinner about 8:00pm, and he said he needs to visit a LINE shop to buy some stuff for his kids and I can tag along since he is going by taxi. Since it was raining, and I had nothing else better to do, I said yes.

We went to the Breeze  LINE store (and I know there are lots of Breeze shops in Taipei), the one opposite Bellavita.  Below is the view on our way back. I think this was the rare time I actually saw some night sights in Taipei. I've been to 3 times, and most of the time, I am rushing out of Taipei instead of in and around Taipei. 

The shop was more than I expected. When we took the elevator up to the floor, we were amazed and started taking photos and selfies of each other. Two grown adult in business wear going all ga-ga over a LINE shop. The deco was really cute. They have everything from toys to stationaries to clothes to home products. My favourite was the kitchen ware and home ware section. I was very tempted to buy something from there. 

Look at these pillows! Aren't they adorable? There were soft to the touch too! And I was really really tempted to get one, but one pillow cover cost around SGD60 to SGD80. The reason they were so expensive was because most of the homeware were made is Sweden. So actually, they look rather classy.

These kitchen ware were also adorable and so well designed too! But needless to say, they were also made in Sweden and very expensive (at least to me anyway). So in the end, I didn't buy anything.

The other interesting store there was the Minion Store opposite the LINE shop. I went to take a look, but I guess I'm not one that spends money easily on such products. Anyway, it was near 9pm, and the stores were closing, so we had to make our way out. We couldn't get a taxi back to the hotel as it was raining and the taxi queue was long with no taxi in sight. We walked to the nearest station and took the train back instead. All in all, it was a rather memorable experience for me :)

LINE Store

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Summary of 2016 So Far.....

I haven't got the time to blog much these days. In case you don't know it yet, I'm currently working for a Japanese company, and for some reason, I find myself working around 15 hours a day at times willingly.....

But life has not been all about work even though sometimes it feels like it. I was going through my Facebook photo album today, and I must say, it has been an eventful year! And I know I would need more time to post everything in an individual post, but I thought I would make a summary of it tonight, so that just in case I never got around to it, at least the highlight of it somehow made it to 'print' here.

So to sum it all up, I'll start from January 2016.  I'll try to link up all the detailed post when I get around to putting them up....
(Warning, this post will feature photos of me cause I'm no longer shy about posting my photos on my blog anymore :P )

1. January 2016 staycation at the Marriott Hotel Singapore.

It was my 2nd staycation in Singapore, the first being the miserable 10th year wedding anniversary at Bay Hotel opposite Vivo City. It was expensive, and my husband had to work on our anniversary day! But anyway, this year we spend it at Marriott via a vacation club promotion. It cost less than SGD400 for 2 night stay, and I negotiated with breakfast thrown in for both days. They were suppose to give us a cake as well, but they conveniently forgot about it. I didn't push for it as I already got free breakfast. And trust me, their breakfast was awesome and cost around SGD80+ for two person.  The highlight of the stay? Christmas lighting at Orchard road, shopping, and eating!

2. January 2016 River Safari Birthday Celebration

I spend my birthday at the River Safari looking at pandas. If you don't know yet, birthday girl or boy gets free entrance on your birthday! This was like the 2nd of 3rd time I spend it in the zoo. I love it cause it was weekday and not crowded. The lake was beautiful, the pandas cute, and there was a cafe inside where we had panda bao! And I got a red panda hair band which I totally love!

3. January 2016  Taipei Business Trip

I spend a week in Taipei just before Chinese New Year.  I already posted on my hike to Elephant  Mountain. My colleague took me to a LINE shop on my last day of work, and this is a photo of me after work with Brown. I also visit a nice traditional garden, and bought lots of Japan printed fabric home for my craft making! I love going to Taipei for work!

4. February 2016 Penang Chinese New Year

Went back for a brief Chinese New Year visit. Friend took me out to some of the popular cafes in town, and we visited China House and some other cool places. We also ran around the Thai temple.

5. February 2016 Mumbai Business Trip

I spend Valentine Day in Mumbai with 3 of my Indian colleagues. It was my first trip to India, and they took very good care of me. I broke all the rules in India:

  • Drank ice milk coffee the moment I reached the hotel. It was super nice!
  • Eat street food on my first day and drink local masala tea on my first day. Everything was awesome and cheap!
  • Went out late at night and walk home. Yes, dinner was usually 9pm+, and we sometime just walk back to our hotel, sometimes as late as 11pm. 

6. June 2016 Wakayama Trip

This was my favourite trip to Japan! I went to the outskirt of Japan to test out my Japanese. The reason I wanted to do this post was also to post this one particular photo that I can't just get it out of my mind. This photo sums up everything about the trip: relaxing, calm, and at peace. My trip itinerary:

  • Wakayama Stop-over
  • Koyasan
  • Yunomine Onsen
  • Kumano Kodo
  • Nachi Taki
  • Urashima

7. June and July 2016 Gurgaon Business Trip

Now a season traveler to India, I finally got my business Visa in July and went there to visit my vendors there. And the trip in July was extra memorable cause I extended it after work and had my first actual tour around the golden triangle of India.

8. July 2016 Kusu Island Trip

My first trip to Kusu and St John Island after living in Singapore for 17 years! St. John Island was awesome! The beach and water was so beautiful! Its a pity the first ferry out is like 9am (so late!) I would have loved to go there to watch the sunrise! Definitely the best beach in Singapore!

9. August 2016 Delhi-Agra-Jaipur Trip

After pondering a great bit, I decided to take a chance and book a tour to see the sights of India. I knew that I was putting my safety at risk, but I also knew I would regret it for life if I don't take this trip. So, no regrets! Although I haven't had Indian curry since I got back (I was sick the last two days of the trip as I threw up after eating some contaminated trip), I totally did not regret taking this amazing road trip! My husband also joint me for the trip, and it was rather affordable, at SGD900 for 4 days 3 night (inclusive of 5* hotel accommodation, guide, and personally car with driver).

It is now September. I wonder what the remaining year will hold for me. I know I am going back Penang next week to attend my niece's wedding. And I hope I can go to Taipei, Vietnam and maybe Seoul for upcoming business trip. I also plan to go back to Japan maybe one or two more times before the year ends (if my boss approve my leave....). So yeah, life has been rather fulfilling so far! Cordy wants a meaningful life!