Growing Up

I am going to 22 in four months(including Dec) and have a few thoughts about growing up.

1. I used to place too much trust in a person (or actually everyone) so I get hurt easily when they failed to live up to my expectations. As I got older, I realized that humans fail us, only God is there for us. I think we should not be 100% cynical in humans but definitely not be 100% trusting.

2. I want to do well in many things but I could only do so much. I think we need to understand our strengths and weaknesses and one part of life is exploring what God has in store for us and knowing what we can do better than others and what we are weaker than others. I think we need realistic expectations of our ability and do our best for it.

3. I can’t win all the time. I think when we were young, people tend to give in more to small kids. However, we cannot expect the same treatment given to us as adults. Knowing this needs us to go through trials but everything is there for a purpose and as what the Bible has said, God will not test us something that is beyond our ability to handle.

4. (For young adults) Sometimes, I am still treated like an ignorant kid especially when I am with my parents or when I am with a group of adults much older than me. I feel that people can judged us and we cannot prevent people from doing so but we can change their opinion of us through the way we act and speak etc. For I am sure, not all great men and women are all senior citizens and not all achievements are achieved by great men or women. Just my opinion but knowing what to respond and react in most situations is an important step to prove one’s maturity.

5. Be open to perspectives but in a not compromising way. I have heard of Christians or generally people getting ‘polluted’ by people probably through peer pressure etc. I have been bullied before a few times and many a times also want to be accepted by people but I think we need to stand firm in what is right and what is wrong and of course, be brave to face the consequences of all our actions. A few months ago, I overlooked the timing to an important test and wasn’t able to make it to the exam venue. I had deeply regretted my actions and repeatedly questioned myself, why did I not check the timing again and again till I got it right. I was too focused on revising for the test that I overlook what seem so easy to know. I may have gotten away with a fake MC but I chose to painfully accept my mistake and worked harder for the finals. Honestly speaking, the results are still not out yet and I do not have much confidence in this but I doubt I get pass my conscience and sleep peacefully each night if I went ahead and got a fake MC. Once you make a mistake like this, you may think ‘Ah, everyone’s doing it so it’s ok.’. But what is wrong is wrong and you cannot bluff yourself and definitely cannot bluff God.


Outing with an ex-classmate whom I have not met for 5 years

Today I met with two close friends and one of which is close with our ex-Secondary School classmate. Let’s call him C. C wanted to pass my friend a present so he wanted to meet up with her. But my friend had already arranged an outing with us so she asked our opinion whether it would be alright to include C in our outing and we said yes. Well, soon after she suggested her idea to us, C also jokingly asked my friend whether he could join and of course, it really became such that C was part of our outing today.

Before I begin to describe about today’s outing, I would like to describe some of my feelings. Honestly, C was someone I had wanted to talk to when we were in Secondary School but I was always feeling dull as I was being bullied in school and hence, could never concentrate enough to converse well and definitely not to a person from the opposite sex. This suggestion to meet him for lunch has definitely made me shocked and excited at the same time. But now, 5 years have passed since Secondary School, the theme song in our lives have changed and so has the feelings that I have. I am still afraid of meeting people that I am not close with but I am not longer afraid enough to reject the idea of meeting them. My mouth is not as choosy as in the past where it only feels like opening when it feels like it. I have the mentality of ‘I can do it (am trying to add in Christ who strengths me in the mentality)’ and if I can’t but want to achieve something, I pray about it.

This morning, really I was all nervous and even thought about what to wear, bring and present myself. It was after all, a meeting with a person whom I have not met for 5 years and I would definitely want to present a good impression of myself. But I, with my slow nature, turned up 10 min late and wore a plain white shirt with jeans.

We met at the bus stop in front of my friend’s house to take a direct bus to the cafe for lunch with a special highlight of drinking 3D latte art. It was our first time cafe hoping and also our first time drinking 3D latte art. Really excited about it. Apparently, he had experienced with 3D latte art and knew a little about the price and everything. Anyway, it was really easy to communicate with him since I haven’t met him for 5 years and there were many topics to ask without overly prying on him. Each of us ordered our individual set meals and lattes, took pictures and tried conversing with each other. Honestly speaking, after meeting with each other, I didn’t feel nervous after all and every time I got nervous, I reminded myself that I am the oldest among all four of us and I should present my mature self as far as possible by leading conversations. But I still couldn’t help presenting my embarrassing self anyway.

After that, we proceeded to eat bingsu. Ordered two different flavors and shared among the four of us. Talked more and it really made me exhausted and it could be seen in the selfies taken. Thank God I didn’t come alone with a friend and had to talk more.

All in all, I had really tried my best to communicate and smiled almost throughout the entire outing. But really, he needs to say less(if not none) vulgar words and ‘sign language’. Stop trying to insist that we should try some alcoholic drink or even the soup he had. In my honest opinion, I still prefer that more nerdy-looking and thinking boy in Secondary School. To me, saying or doing all that is not making a human anymore mature or ‘grown-up’ or less innocent. Huge difference between knowing and doing. Plus plus, at the end of the outing, I even heard him and my friend saying some even worse and longer cursing word. But I was(ok, maybe am) still happy to have met him again.

Vietnam Trip (6Dec-11Dec 2015) Day 6

Last day in Vietnam. No activities. Just straight back home.

There is wifi at the NoiBai Airport. This is a considerably small for an airport. Nothing much to walk or shop about. Our flight was delayed for 2 hours so we walked around the airport and took more pictures. Since it was my first time at this airport, I was fine with staying 2 hours at this place.

Flight back home using Vietnam Airlines. Very smooth flight that lasted about 3 hours. I like their airplane food. Delicious and filling. I don’t see much of a difference of their refreshment meal and their lunch set but it’s fine since both are filling.

Nice first time experience to Vietnam.

Vietnam Trip (6Dec-11Dec 2015) Day 5

Day 5 (10Dec 2015). I was really nervous on this day as I had to register my NTU timetable in a foreign land. NTU uses the ‘first-come-first-serve’ principle so good internet connection is a must. Thank God that the connection at Lacasa Hotel was good so I have managed to get all my courses registered but I didn’t get my 1st choice time slot though.

This was supposed to be free and easy day but our tour guide was willing to bring us around. Initially, he was willing to accompany us from 3pm to night time, free of tipping but Mrs Lee discussed with him and we agreed to pay him an additional day of tipping in exchange for his entire day of service. We paid US$25 for the entire day’s transportation and dinner each (excluding tipping).

Another day to thank God for is that they arrange the plans starting from 10am, enough time for me to eat my breakfast and register my timetable.

First stop: Aeon Mall. A huge mall with lots of food and shopping 🙂

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Second stop: Old Quarters. Spotted this cute bear shop which I think I have seen in Running Man. Unfortunately, we have run out of dong since it was the last night in Vietnam and the cute bears aren’t cheap. The small bear costs 220,000 dong.

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Although I didn’t sit on it, there were often rickshaws around. Reminds me of those at Bugis.

Dinner at the expensive buffet place. I heard there were more than 200 choices of food. Very delicious. Choices of seafood, fried food, pizzas, sushi, oysters, salad, ice-cream, desserts, lots of soup etc. I was so excited at all the food that I could’t stop eating but since everyone wanted to go, I had to stop. 😦 (hehe)

There was performance when we were there. Nice photo-taking place too.




Vietnam Trip (6Dec-11Dec 2015) Day 4

Breakfast at Heritage Halong Hotel.

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I find the food nice but definitely less varieties as compared to Lacasa Hotel.

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First stop: taking the Saigon Ha Long boat to see the beautiful Ha Long River.

View inside the boat. Some tea was served. I didn’t managed to taste the tea as I was busy taking photos and when I was back, the tea was gone.

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There was a hotel nearby the Halong Bay too. The tour guide said it was very expensive.

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Did you notice a ‘duck’?

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‘Angry Chicken’

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The boat stopped and we went to see the ‘Heaven Palace Cave’.

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So nice 🙂 According to the tour guide, everything in it is natural (except for the lighting and waterfall).

Lunch on the boat. The deep fried food were so delicious and very appetizing with rice.

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Back at the Lacasa Hotel. We had a warmer room this time. Our previous room on the 4th floor was so cold.

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Dinner at a local restaurant. The tour guide let us try some of the coffee he was selling and since it tasted great, mum bought 2 quantities of it.

Vietnam Trip (6Dec – 11Dec 2015) Day 3

Checked out Lacasa Hotel and continue our half day tour in Hanoi.

First stop of the day: Visiting Ho Chi Minh Complex.

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It is a place that does not open everyday and even when it does, it only opens for 3 hours. There was security check and we were sent in in batches. The tour guide said that green uniform guards were for security while yellow uniform guards were for traffic. The banner wrote words like long live socialism.

We also went to the Temple of Literature, built in honor of Confucius in 1070. It was Vietnam’s first university.

Lunch at Thang Long Restaurant. Restaurants seemed to like serving bananas as a fruit. I did see a lot of bananas trees while travelling on the tour bus.

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The bus ride to Halong Bay was 4 hours so we had a rest stop at a Ceramic and Embroidery Workshop. I was amazed at the sewing skill of the people above. They could sew a few colours of threads a one time using a needle and the art piece sewn was very alike to the picture they had used as reference. The art pieces were for sale and there were also local food souvenirs for sale too. The toilets were also very clean here. (Do prepare some small change of 2000 dong to use toilets in many public areas.)

Dinner at Kinh Do Halong Restaurant. Their fried rice there was really delicious that we ordered another plate. This restaurant served hot pot with lots of fresh sea food ingredients.

Night at the Heritage Halong Hotel. There is also the KBS channel here. This hotel is a 3-star hotel but comfortable enough to stay.


Vietnam Trip (6Dec-11Dec 2015) Day 2

Woke up feeling refresh with a feeling of bonus 1 hour sleep.

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We went to eat our breakfast at the Lacasa Hotel. It was buffet style. Customer service was great and the staff understood English. (By the way, the guide taught us how to say Hello(‘xin chao’) and Thank you(‘carmen’) in Vietnamese and we used ‘carmen’ most of the time. The waitress was really friendly and taught us how to say welcome in Vietnamese but I have forgotten how to say it.)

Our first stop is to visit Hoa Lu which used to be the capital of Vietnam in the 11st centuries.

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On the way to visit the temple of Dinh & Le dynasty, there was this Vietnamese man with his buffalo. You can take a photo of you ridding on his buffalo for US$1.

The temple. I didn’t went in. But the story is that the beautiful Queen had 2 husbands and there is a saying that the Queen poisoned her first husband in order to marry her second husband, a general. The guide kept jokingly warn us not to get a beautiful wife.

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Local Vietnamese. The children are often seen in such same designs light blue, darker blue clothing which I think is their uniform.

The exhibition house of the palace ground archaeological relics of Dinh – Pre Le Dynasty in 10th century.

Lunch at Anh Dzung Restaurant. Another delicious course-meal filled with meat, soup, vegetables and a generous portion of rice. There was a store selling souvenirs downstairs. It seems like there is a factory manufacturing all those bags etc as the same designs were often seen selling throughout the trip.

After lunch, we got on to a small boat (max 2 adult foreigners) to view the beautiful scenery. The boat was paddled by either a lady or a man. I was really amazed by their leg power. The boat ride was 2 hours and they used their legs to paddle almost the entire trip. Plus using their hands for other activities like opening an umbrella. There was also accommodation along the river. This ride will pass by mountains, padding fields, a few caves and there will sale of drinks and food mid-way through the ride.

Dinner at Viet Kitchen Spring Restaurant where ice-cream was served(yay!). The people there seemed to end work earlier. We left at around 7pm Vietnam time and the store was closed when we drove pass again in our tour bus.

Back to Lacasa hotel for a good night rest.

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The channels available at Lacasa Hotel. I especially like channel 13 🙂