3D Map of Chengdu.

Edmund gave me this link to this super cool map of Chengdu. It’s even in 3D! One thing that we didn’t really have when we were there last year was a proper detailed map. Google Maps were rather useless. I wished we had this back then. It would be quite fun to be able to explore new places and familiarise ourselves with Chengdu.

Anyway, I think the map is a bit wrong (do correct me if I’m wrong here) coz we live at the highest floor (6th + attic) but in the map it seems as though the apartments we stay at were very high apartments.

Unfortunately, they haven’t updated it with Tianfu Software Park. I can point out the different buildings there! πŸ˜€

To be honest though, there are quite a lot of routes and places that I’d forgotten when I was looking at the map. =( One day got to go back and visit.

Hope the places will all be the same and that everyone there’s safe from the recent earthquakes.

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Earthquake in Chengdu.

If I remember correctly, we used to cross this road on our long walk home from work everyday in Chengdu.

I was shocked to hear this piece of news from Huzz. Coz as far as I know, Chengdu doesn’t lie on any plationic plates (I learnt of this info when I was doing research on Chengdu last year before I went there).

Asked my OIC if everyone was ok (they were).

Kinda scared me. If it’d happened 365 days ago, I would be one of the few Singaporeans there.
And when you’d stayed in a place for 125 days of your life, you’ll definitely feel for such diasasters.

Hope everyone’s okay.

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My last night in Chengdu.

So… it’s finally time to return to SG after spending 124 days over here in Chengdu.

How do I feel after living in a foreign country for 4 months? First and foremost, I feel excited that I finally get to return to my homeland Singapore. Main reason would be that I miss my family and friends a lot. I miss living in Singapore. In fact, after being here for 4 months, I kinda forgot how I used to live my life in SG. Quite sad, but yeah.

I also finally understood what Mr Lee, my sec school band teacher-in-charge told me that working for or living in a foreign country won’t be as good as working in your own country itself. Discrimination is quite common here though there are nice people who treats you better after knowing that you are from Singapore. Being foreigners, many locals here like to point their fingers at us whenever they get the chance to. Like at that trip to Jiu Zhai Gou, at this stop where we were allowed to shop for stuff. There were this whole group of Chinese who were very late and I overheard the other group of tourists in the bus saying “It’s the Singaporeans” when we were already on the bus. And over here at these apartments, people have said that “the Singaporean students climbed walls to other people’s rooftop to play” when we didn’t.

It is apparent that as Singaporeans, we are not really Chinese Chinese. This is one important thing I’d learnt. Of course, I’m not saying that everyone treats us this way, but just some of them. I think this is how many Chinese over here in Singapore feels too. :-/

Not only that, I learnt a valuable lesson of not getting controlled by the temper others want you to have. Else you might lose yourself.

Living with 12 other people also taught me some life lessons. Plus some experiences that I would never have gained if I’d never came. It’s very similar to reality TV in a way that many drama stuff had happened.

One day, all of these will soon be a mere memory. I don’t know what will be remembered from this. Probably just the simple fact that we’d once lived in Chengdu for 4 months with 12 other people. Only time will tell.

Looking at my packed luggage, I can’t believe that 4 months of my things are packed inside it. Just a mere 20kg of things…

And the memories left behind, I wished it can be kept inside somewhere.

Like a pensive perhaps. =)

Will definitely miss this place, and the people.

Must learn to let go. πŸ™‚

P/S: Oh yea, it isn’t really such a big deal living overseas with your friends. It has been an interesting experience. I wouldn’t mind doing it again, provided I get to choose the people to live with. haha. =X πŸ˜›

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My first National Day overseas.

Yesterday was Singapore’s 42nd National Day. Apart from a sentence from my previous post, i didn’t mention anything else about it.

This is the second year in a row that I’ve missed watching National Day Parade “live” on TV. Last year, I was at Hwa Swee‘s house along with Yi Long, Scott and Edison working on our ECPJ Distinction presentation. I’d watched the whole parade afterwards but somehow the patriotic feeling wasn’t there. πŸ™

This year, I’d actually planned to watch the whole thing “live” through the Internet, but ended up spending our afternoon out at 火车南站 (South Train Station), 倩府广场 (Tian Fu Square), ζ˜₯熙路 (Chun Xi Road) and ζ‘ε­ζž—εŒ—θ·― (Tong Zi Lin North Road) with my housemates shopping for stuff. Also tried ιŸ©εŒ…ε­. Like normal εŒ… (bao) except they have ground θŠ±ζ€’ (hua jiao – a kind of Sichuan spice) in it.

Somehow, the whole National Day mood didn’t get to me. Maybe it’s because I’m right here in another country? Every year, I’d watch NDP to watch out for friends (or sometimes family) participating in it. Even though many of the items in the parade are very very similar each year, I’d still watch it no matter what. Many might scorn me about it, but yeah. Watching the NDP is something that comes with National Day. Just like how during Christmas you’re supposed to eat ham and turkey, or during Chinese New Year you’re to receive red packets.

Can’t wait to see what SSA performed this year. πŸ™‚

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26 nights of dinner.

This was originally a draft that was here since 8 August, 2007 4.14pm. I’d meant to complete this list and all, but didn’t really complete it. Wanted to clear the drafts, so here it is.

Here is the list of restaurants/eateries that the group of us (Henry, Twin Dragon, Edmund, Jia Hui, Hwa Swee and I) went to for our last 26 nights in Chengdu. πŸ™‚

26: Grandma’s Kitchen
25: Korean BBQ
24: Midya International Buffet
23: Ajisen
22: De Zhuang Ma La Hotpot
21: KFC (Great World Carrefour building)
20: Pizza Hut (Brilliance Tianfu Shopping Mall)
19: Hollywood Cafe
18: Quan Ji (Zi Jing West Road)
17: Macdonald’s (Ke Hua North Road)
16: Swensen’s (Chun Xi Road)
15: Peter’s Tex-Mex Grill
12: Subway
11: Hokkaido Restaurant
10: Hollywood Cafe
09: Dicos
08: Dui Mian
07: Si Ji Xiao Chu
06: Si Ji Xiao Chu
05: Peter’s
04: Beef Noodle Shop

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Shopping and karaoke experience.

Saturday, went to Qin Tai Road (琴台路), Digital Square (ζ•°η εΉΏεœΊοΌ‰, Chun Xi Road (ζ˜₯熙路) and Ke Hua North Road οΌˆη§‘εŽεŒ—θ·―οΌ‰.

We visited Qin Tai Road to buy souvenirs for our friends in SG. We’d first visited the street when we’d went to watch Sichuan Opera about 3 weeks ago and found a roadside stall selling the same goods found at Jin Li Road for half the price. πŸ™‚ As I’m buying some stuff in bulk (for some HS Band and SNCO people), I would be saving quite a lot of money if I buy stuff at a lower price.

So went back to that same stall and bought more stuff for others (but still not enough for all. How?? =x). Also walked around the street. I notice lots of Tibetian shops over there. Probably coz that area is near Tibet or something? Not too sure.

At Digital Square, went to 2 animes shop to look around. Huzz bought a super huge Master Grade Gundam while Yan Qin & Teck Hwee bought a lighter and watch respectively. I wanted to buy some anime accessories, but decided not to since if I buy it, it’ll probably just sit at home in my drawer. :-/ Ended up buying a earphone splitter (SGD$0.40) and a converter for my Energizer rechargable batteries (for charging my rechargable batteries in SG; SGD$1.60). On impulse, I also bought a proper camera bag for my Sony camera. The store assistant first showed me the Sony camera bag that came with my sis’s T10 (SGD$12) and I think from the look on my face, he knew that it was out of my budget. He then asked if I would like to look at cheaper ones and then showed me a Panasonic Lumix camera bag for only SGD$4. For some weird reason, he kept telling me that even though there is a cheaper Sony camera bag for SGD$2, he would recommend me this Panasonic one as it is of a better quality and is more shock proof. Honestly, I didn’t think too much about it and bought the Panasonic bag. πŸ™‚

Went to Chun Xi Road after that. The main objective is to visit this music store which Huzz and I saw last week. The place didn’t disappoint except for the fact that they didn’t sell music scores and better drum sticks. :-/ Everything else was wayyyyyyy cheaper than the stuff sold in SG. And OMG, I saw this good music stand selling for SGD$10!! If not for the fact that there’s a weight limit for luggages, I’d have bought that immediately. :S :S

Ke Hua North Road, supposedly a “happening” place in Chengdu. Lots of eateries and roadside stalls there. Roadside stalls there sold stuff from fashion accessories, to toys, to puppies, to fruits and vegetables. Didn’t buy anything but it was an eye opener. πŸ™‚ Doubt you can find a similar place in SG like that.

Anyway, went to ATT karaoke with (Li Ying, Henry, Yan Qin, Teck Hwee, Yi Long, Jia Hui, Edmund, Hwa Swee, Huzz and Mr Ling) around 9pm.

Place similar to KBox, but bigger. Though the way you choose songs are different. ATT has a dedicated computer screen at the side for you to pick your songs, control the volume, add in sound effects, etc. Of course, everything is in Mandarin and we had problems using the system at first but after a while I got the hang of it and kept selecting songs for the rest. I also threw in a few English songs (Westlife’s More Than Words and Uptown Girl; a1’s Like A Rose; Trademark’s Only Love) and 2 Hokkien songs (Chen Lei’s “Hong Jin Tao” and “Hua Hee Tio Ho”) Lol. I didn’t want to sing at first, but then it ended up fun so I sang a few songs too. Lol.

And we had Budweiser. Tasted like Guiness or Carlsberg (I can’t remember) but at least it was better than Tiger or ABC.

Reached home around 1.30am after buying McNuggets to reduce the effects of alcohol. They cut the water supply!! πŸ™ Didn’t bathe that night (rather, morning). πŸ™ However, when I was about to sleep at around 3.30am, I heard sounds from the toilet pipes and turned on the taps, and water burst out of it. -_-”

McDonald’s Ke Hua North Road, 1.16am

Woke up around 9.30am and didn’t feel like sleeping coz I stink. So took a bath, and wanted to sleep after that, but ended up helping Li Ying send her stuff, ate lunch, watch a movie (Swing Girls) before taking a nap. But still felt pretty tired after that.

Though I must say, sunday afternoon was super peaceful. πŸ™‚

So is office today. =X Though I’m feeling horrible because of my stomach (diarrhoea and no appetite). πŸ™

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Why I don’t like sitting at the reception area.

Although I’m an intern, sometimes when the receptionist a.k.a. executive assistant is away I’d have to help man the reception. I remember the first time when the receptionist went to ask Hwa Swee which girl was free to help her. There were only the 6 of us then, and it was only Jia Hui or me. I was free then so I helped. I didn’t expect to help out so many times for the past 3 months over here.

Sitting out here is quite stressful and lonely, because there’s no one around, and it is important to uphold the company’s image and all since most visitors who come up here would meet me first. Also, I’m to pick up phone calls and direct them to the respective people in the company.

Honestly, this reminds me a lot of my short working stint at my aunt’s travel agency where I’m to pick up phone calls and pass the calls to my colleagues when they are too busy to pick up the phone. :S And for those who do not know, I don’t really enjoy speaking on the phone as I have no idea who I’m talking to, and I definitely prefer face-to-face conversations or MSN (I process words better when I read).

Well, after helping out here for so many times, I can say I am used to this job. However, there are still some things that I still do not enjoy while sitting out at the reception area. Here are the reasons:

  • It is stuffy – for some reason, even though the air conditioner is turned down to 21 degrees celsius (considered quite low over here), the place still feels warm, suffocating and stuffy for me. And there’s some rule about not allowing the companies around here to turn the airconditioner to below 26 degrees C so it’s already off the limit.
  • Language barrier – To be honest, after staying here for 115 days already, sometimes I don’t understand what the locals are saying, especially if they speak in their dialect. I can catch a few words here and there but not all of it. And my mandarin vocabulary isn’t that wide either so sometimes I have no idea how to say certain words in mandarin; whether it’s through the phone or face-to-face with someone
  • I don’t know what’s going on – I really look up to the executive assistant here. To be able to pick up calls, handle visitors and all is not easy. You must know whether the employee you are supposed to direct your calls to is in office or not (sometimes they might be on leave or may have went to run some errands), you are supposed to know who is in what department (people might call asking for the person in charged of this and that), you are supposed to handle people who come up here to advertise their products to you, and so on.
  • I don’t like picking up phone calls – self-explanatory. Full stop.
  • You have to rush to the washroom – similar to Bell’s Theorem, whenever you want to use the washroom, a phone will ring. Or the phone will ring when you are at the pantry or elsewhere. :S Because of this, I always have to rush to the washroom, just-in-case someone calls.
  • Of course, there are good points to sitting out here as well. You get to meet interesting people who come up here to advertise their stuff, or get you to sign packages. As a foreigner here, after looking at me for about 30 seconds, they would usually ask if I’m local. After I tell them that I’m from Singapore, they would comment that my Mandarin is quite good and that they are honoured to meet someone from Singapore. πŸ™‚

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Happy Birthday Harry!

31st July, Harry Potter and JK Rowling‘s birthday. πŸ™‚

Oh well, 13 days left to SG and honestly, at this point of time, I want to go back ASAP. It’s getting mentally exhausting for me right now. Got to deal with all those emotional stress. And the thing is that it’s affecting me in a way. Else I doubt I’ll care about it.

Come to think of it, I shouldn’t have even cared about half the stuff happening around here and do my own work.

I’m kind of reminded of the previous projects, where by the last 2 weeks, everyone is mentally tired with work and all already. I guess it’s also like that here? Just that (like what our lecturer said), we can’t go home away from the people we are working with because we all are living together.

Then again, what my cousin Cynthia told me, living overseas without our parents would push us further and we would discover potential in us that we might not have seen before when living with our parents.

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These few days…

Badminton again yesterday! Though I played without any breakfast and hence played horribly. :-/

This morning, while I was hand-washing my clothes, I suddenly felt a sharp pain at my lower back, near the waist area. πŸ™ It was horribly pain and the pain is still there right now. I need medicated plaster!! πŸ™ πŸ™

Exactly 2 weeks before I return to SG. More shopping this saturday though I doubt I’ll be buying much. Hopefully will be able to get a few percussion stuff (hopefully) after I saw a music store at Chun Xi Road when we were all walking to the main road to take cab. I’m left with like RMB$150 to buy stuff. Oh well.

Went to Peter’s again yesterday, and got their T-shirt for RMB$50 (SGD$10).

So anyway, on the way back, the group of us walked past this boutique where there was a television set showing a fashion show. Just at the moment when a few of us turned to look at it, there’s this model who sort of flashed her breasts. -_-” What a weird fashion show.

Not sure why but I’m feeling quite tired today despite sleeping earlier than usual and the nap I had yesterday afternoon.

Updated the birthday entry with pictures and all. πŸ˜€ Enjoy!

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Happy 19th birthday to me!

I turn 19 today! πŸ˜€ Haha. I’ll probably remember this birthday for the years to come as this is the first time I’m spending my birthday overseas.

Received my first 19th birthday present from Huzz. πŸ˜€

Went to Chun Xi Road again to look for a belt. Finally found one at Meters Bonwe where they were having a buy-one-get-one-free offer for all their non-discounted clothings. I actually didn’t want to get that belt coz it’s not what I have in mind, but oh well, no harm changing my style (if i have one that is) right? I got a pair of pants as well (and it came with another belt lol) that would be easy to match with all the T-shirts that I have at home. Now all I have to do is lose the fats that I accumulated for the past 111 days that I am here in Chengdu, and I think I would look ok in that. πŸ˜›

Anyway, saw a music shop. I hope they sell percussion books/drumsticks/any percussion accessories. Hahaha.

Had Swensen’s for dinner. My second Swensen’s meal. First was back in 2005 after a YCF performance. They had a birthday offer where if the table spent more than RMB$500, you’ll get a free Firehouse Birthday ice-cream free. Since Yi Long and I share the same birthday and were at the same table, we asked if we could get 2 free ice-creams but unfortunately we can’t. So YL and I shared it. Due to the excitement and everyone the singing birthday song for us, I forgot to take a pic of the ice-cream -_-“.

Had chicken tortilla. Quite filling though the price isn’t much.

On the way back, my friends went to BreadTalk (yes. haha) and got a cake for YL and I.

Anyway, Huzz, JH, LY and I found a place where they fry seafood for you. The smell kind of reminds me of East Coast and Changi Village. :-/

Birthday celebration at home! Pictures are self-explanatory. πŸ˜€ We took group photos as well, and Jia Hui photoshopped them nicely so I shall put the photoshopped pictures here. πŸ™‚

Thank you to all who wished me a happy birthday:
Huzz, my family, Li Ying, Yi Long, Jia Hui, Teck Hwee, Guang Yi, Shamin, Hasniza, Dan, May, Vernon, Madeline, Hwa Swee, Mike, Bao Hui, Eve, Aunt Evelyn, Jia Hui, Daelen, Boon Siang, Xiao Wei, Suky, Wishbone, Mei Yun, Boon Han and Reuben!

Edited: 30 July 07

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