Graduation Ceremony

[Friday, 23 April, 2010]

It was the day of my long awaited graduation ceremony. I tried to sleep at 3am but it took way long for me to doze off, not because I was excited, but due to the fact that I had been sleeping during daylight.

My aunt came over to my house in the morning. I was not very interested in attending the graduation ceremony since I would get my certificate no matter what; however, Josephine replied to my Facebook status that it was for my parents. My mum finally decided to iron my graduation robe and she complained it was a very tedious job. I wanted to help her but decided it would be better for her to do it.

We set off at 11.30am. The waiting for bus 75 was very long but I had the time planned well. Registering at the counter right after reaching SIM, the ladies apologised badly for not able to issue my certificate on that day. I went to the dressing room and there were quite a number of staffs, probably from the photo studio, helping all the graduates to dress up. I finally put on the graduation robe properly. I felt like as if I was filming in the Harry Potter movies.

I had another long wait, sitting on the chair inside the hall where the speakers dragged the time though they looked smart and did speak well. The only focus I had in mind was to present myself smartly on the stage where video cameras were pointing and close-up would be projected on the two screens instantly. It was finally something exciting to me. On the stage, after trying hard to act cool for a while, I almost turned blank. After receiving the certificate of attendance, I went back to the same seat and there were speeches after the top graduate made his words.

We finally had our sixteen bucks per pax buffet and both my mum and aunt tried hard to make sure the money was worth it, which could never be. I had phototaking with my classmates outside the library. Phototaking with my family was never complete without my younger brother, which was one of the greatest reasons I did not really feel so excited for the day.

I went to Singapore Polytechnic straight away to meet up with my ex-colleagues. I was quite puzzled why Alvin was giving the treat and later he told me he finally got promoted to the senior lecturer post after taking the role for so long. Since Joy, Weitat, Afni and KK were not going, I was quite stunned. Luckily, Hirman joined in to create lots of fun. Diana took the seat beside me after my persuasion to add more delight to the evening.

Weiming sent me to Commonwealth MRT station where I took the train home, feeling guilty that I could not accompany my family for dinner.

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Sichun is Married

[Sunday, 21 March, 2010]

The day began with the preparation to go out for lunch with my colleagues. We had buffet at Straits Cafe at Hotel Rendezvous to celebrate for Daniel’s birthday. Taking good food was too much of a privilege to me and I had excess of them recently. In the mid of the conversation, I pronounced my second day of the weekend disastrous.

After lunch, I followed Dorothy’s car to Choa Chu Kang in the heavy rain. It was the only time I could chat with her when nobody else was around. Anyway, I took the train to Admiralty before I sat down at the old MacDonald’s restaurant just opposite the control station. I ordered a cup of chocolate milkshake to my disgust due to the lousy taste. The wireless network freaked me out as I could not post anything in Facebook, and the visitor counter on my website could not be loaded as well.

Later on, Jinyang and his girl, together with Chuanjie, arrived and we set off together to the Woodlands Vale condominium for Sichun’s wedding. It was not a grand ceremony, but being together with the loved one was the most important thing. The catered buffet was quite good but too filling for the day.

I got to get together with the old Gessians but I felt weird since I was not close to most of them and there were not many topics. We left at around 9pm.

Before midnight, I went down to the ATM machines with my younger brother to withdraw money. I forgot that I had withdrawn some cash in the afternoon and thus I had exceeded the daily limit. As the dumb machine was ejecting my ATM card, suddenly it pulled it back to my horror and my card was detained.

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Department Lunch Turned into Farewell Lunch

[Wednesday, 18 March, 2010]

It was a different Wednesday, having two departments combining department lunch together at Mandarin Gallery. Weitat, Afni and Joy left the office earlier. I followed Bernard’s car and arrived at the place on time together with my department’s staffs. Their cold and repeated jokes on learning volleyball turned me off.

I had a big feast as the food was to my liking. There were at least two other cameras around and thus I did not take many shots. Towards the end of the lunch, I moved to the other end of the stretch of table to crap with my most usual gang. Then, I was teased for mispronouncing words again.

As I began to get sleepy with the heavily stuffed stomach in my irritated eyes, I was given gifts from the department as my farewell gifts. My heavy brain was too tired to react much. Josephine started with her farewell speech, followed by Kevin. I was totally lost at words after that with my brain frozen; the earlier cold jokes and teasing had already eaten up my words even though I was more than happy to present my feeling for the more than two years of stay with all the kind souls.

Immediately after the lunch, I was made to try out the three tops and a sweater outside the toilet. My great buddies had certainly put in great thoughts when choosing the items for me, trying to change my image. There was no mirror around for me to take a good view of myself but I trusted their taste.

We went on shopping for the banking staffs’ farewell gifts. I could feel that I could collapse anytime in my swinging head. I was intending to hitch bus 167 home to take a short nap during the journey but Afni changed her mind in the long queue in front of the taxi stand and I accompanied her to take train.

I would be missing my great colleagues soon.

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Tampiness Safra Sakura and IKEA

Yesterday’s family dinner with my father’s side relatives was quite rare. Last year, I was invited as well but the lack of sleep put me throughout the afternoon.

Anyway, this dinner crashed with another two events – gathering at Alex’s house and golf with Irwin and his friends.

My younger brother insisted to take bus 30 to Bedok interchange to transit to bus 168. We met our aunt who took train over to Bedok. We could have met up earlier since she stayed opposite our block.

We did have some miscommunication problems with elder brother and he was actually waiting at Tampiness Mall, after which, he took cab down instead and reached Tampiness Safra before us.

The dining at Sakura was alright, except that I was too small an eater for buffet. The variety of food was not as many as West Coast and Orchard. The worst thing was that I took too much appetizers to begin with. It was a treat from my youngest uncle and we had seventeen people in total.

After the dinner, we went to Tampiness IKEA together with the aunt who stayed near us and it was my virgin visit there. The Courts and Giant buildings next to IKEA’s were very tempting.

The layout was somehow similar to Alexander’s IKEA. I was quite interested in an armchair because of the holes that would allow air to breathe through and kiss my butts, such that I would not perspire so much; the size was smaller than my current one, which was more suitable for the position in the living room. We went back to search for the chair but I felt it was too costly at the price of $168, which could be much cheaper. Anyway, my elder brother’s girlfriend was going to pay for everything using her IKEA voucher, which I felt was not too good. We got a set of utensils and some other stuff in the end.

We took the free shuttle bus to Tampiness MRT station and took train home.

It was a tough night to get my mum to throw away excess utensils, which were probably not touched for a couple of years. We managed to clear a box out of the four annoying ones besides the kitchen’s windows after battling with my mum.

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Dragon Gate Buffet Dim Sum and Alone at SIM

Friday was rather an interesting day. I was so exhausted that I could not get up on time.

Lunch was special since we went to Dragon Gate together with Daniel, Dorothy, Mrs Wo and Jonathan to have dim sum buffet and it was the first time we got to dine together with Mrs Wo and Jonathan.

Poor Mrs Wo could never take her time off from work, and she was occupied with her phone. Daniel faced the greatest challenge with his seafood allergy, whereas most of the dishes included prawn.

Sago – big versus small

I did not forget to leave some space inside my stomach for the dessert – Sago. I ordered two bowls at one shot and when the auntie brought them over, I joked that I wanted have the third one and Jingkun was tempted as well. We did not expect the auntie to come back with two big bowls of sago, which kept me in high spirit; the taste of the sago was enjoyable, but the service of the auntie delighted me more.

After work, Jingkun sent me over to SIM to submit my reply slip to confirm my decision to take up the course. He dropped me at the bus-stop and it was my first time being alone inside. I dialled the numbers given on the paper and by Jingkun, but none of them picked up the calls. I made my way to the student administration office and realised it was the exact place where I should be submitting the papers. When the lady told me that I had to refer to the date on the invoice to submit the school fee, I was very turned off since I knew I had to make another trip down again.

I took bus 75 home and was excited when I realised the bus had upgraded. The sound was similar to the MRT’s and there were announcements as well to inform passengers not to eat or drink. The structure was designed for the wheelchairs but overall, the important factor was missing – number of seats – since it would be a long journey for me to travel to and from school in future.

Dinner at Rajar Inn and Birthday Presents

On Sunday evening, I received a sudden invitation to go out for dinner. Since my mum was not in Singapore yet and that I did not want to turn them down, I decided to give up my show – 鹿鼎记.

I met up my gang at Tiong Bahru Plaza. They waited at the restaurant called Rajar Inn where we invested in a buffet dinner again.

Being a light eater, it was not a good choice for me; it was definitely a waste of money especially when steamboat was such a bored stuff. The first dish was durian pastry, of a normal standard, and the rest was in fact not satisfying to me. The thirty buck spent was a total waste of money.

Braun Buffel Wallet

Nike Bag

I received my first two birthday presents of the year – a Braun Buffel wallet and a Nike sling bag. I had not heard of the wallet’s brand due to my lack of brand awareness, but it certainly seemed expensive, and owning such accessory was a waste of money on me.

It was very pressurizing to receive birthday presents, especially when my buddies had been saying that “how much you spend for others is how much you will eventually get back”. If you could afford a hundred dollar, would others be able to do it? I supposed family background could pose problems between friends.

I would not care about the value of the presents and I supposedly did not really need anything since I had eliminated all my NEEDs, unless someone could spare money for a DSLR camera or even buy a house for me.

Anyway, my buddies knew me too well that they bluffed me to show them my wallet and then they started replacing all my cards over to the new one since they knew I would not be using the new one any soon if they did not do it that way. It was the same scenario as the mobile phone chain which Weitat bought for me at Hong Kong a month ago and he borrowed my phone so that he could force the gift onto it.

I was practically being touched by their efforts.

Anyway, when Mingli teased that I did not get her any birthday present, I got the shock of my life. I was always not the one who went in search of birthday presents and thus, when my gang bought presents individually, I tended to have problems.

Pot Luck, Volleyball, Settlers’ Café, Chinatown Complex

On the first day of the holiday, I woke up feeling weak and the entire body was strengthless.

Volleyball was stated to be at two PM but even the most important person, Mingfa, was late. I had some conversation with an uncle whom arrived shortly after me and he told me about the prospect of IT career, which was quite enlightening.

One of my favourite uncles arrived soon and he took out the “orh tar” for us to chew and soon, Mingfa arrived with my gang. We set up the court immediately before grabbing more bites on the semi “buffet”. More food came in later and the pot luck party was overwhelming.

Unfortunate that the little food I took had made my stomach so bloated that I could not take more and that it affected my performance during the games. I played badly.

During the evening, we went to Holland Village to try out gaming at the Settlers’ Café. Parking was hell difficult for the heavy flow of cars at this popular place. Free flow of drinks was near ten bucks per person. The staff who first attended us was cute and I supposed that was the greatest gain of the trip.

There were Mingfa, Grace, Weitat, Jingkun, Kok Chiang and Mingli, and Ah Teck and Wilson joined us at the end but they did not join in the fun. It was a pretty good experience and it was one of the rare things my gang would ever do. I was caught laughing the most even though I was the only who wanted to opt out at first. My hesitation was caused by my stubborn and poor time management.

At around nine PM, we went to Chinatown Complex for dinner. I was guilty for the rest of them had to travel the long distance probably because I was staying furthest away from them.

I toured around three quarters of the place but most of the stalls were closed and that I had no choice but to order a bowl of noodle. It was not an easy night for me because of my weird stomach condition. After reaching home, everything was fine.

Buffet Breakfast at Dragon Gate Restaurant

Sunday was breakfast with big boss at Dragon Gate. I was surprisingly on time again and eventually took a little walk around by myself since the rest were late. I was looking at the rechargeable batteries “Eneloop” from Sanyo at the Harbourfront Centre stationary shop. The price was freaking expensive at around sixty bucks for four AA size batteries and the charger. I supposed it would save me lots of troubles and money if I were to continue to use my current Olympus D-750 camera; my GP rechargeable batteries had been failing me all these while. Anyway, I wanted to check out the prices in other places first.

My comrades arrived by cabs. Big boss was already at the restaurant and even had ordered food for us. It was my second visit there and the first time was with Zhengfang and Evelyn for steamboat buffet instead.

I was not really fascinated by the food as I hated gobbling up food just for the sake of making the money worth. It was good experience to hang out with successful people since we got to learn from them every moment. There were a few awkward moments which I did not really notice until the boss was gone. Anyway, someone ordered excess food that we had a hard time trying to clear the table to avoid being charged for food wastage.

My initial plan was to actually go out with my family for the event organised by the community centre where there were Go Kart racing near Bukit Merah. My mum had to attend the funeral of a neighbour and thus we called off the outing. I was actually lazy but very interested in the Go Kart game.

I took a little walk around Vivocity with them before going home by bus.