2019 Reflections

2019 went into 2020 too fast. When you have a baby to take care of, there’s not much time to stop and think and reflect. You’re always catching up on sleep, if not waking up in the middle of the night to soothe the baby to sleep. Thank God for coffee.

The year of the latter rain definitely did bring a lot of rain in Singapore in December. Haha. Thank God for the many provisions that are demanded when you have a baby – hospital costs are not cheap, plus all the baby accessories that you have to buy. Thank God for providing more than enough for baby Samuel and also everyone who has blessed us monetarily and non-monetarily.

The earlier part of 2019 was a bag of mixed feelings. First, it was dealing with the shock that Liz is pregnant, cos we sort of started planning and stopped trying. The funny thing is, it seemed like the moment we stopped trying, God took over. I guess God had a sense of humour, and his plans are definitely better than our plans. I was a little sad, because that meant that I can’t go overseas for the work tour in October, cos that’s the exact month in which baby is going to arrive. It was a battle between my spirit and flesh again. My spirit knows that God definitely has better plans than our human plans. My flesh was asking, why God, at this time. It seemed like I’m going to miss the most exciting thing of the year that’s going to happen at work, and the FOMO was real. The joke was that we were the best planners, but we didn’t manage to plan Samuel’s arrival well. Haha. We were probably the least joyful parents at the first gynae visit. Lol.

The first trimester was not as bad as I thought. I didn’t have to rush to somewhere to buy supper for Liz in the middle of the night. There were a lot of new food cravings nevertheless, but it wasn’t that hard for me. Liz had to deal with nausea definitely.

When second trimester came, I have more or less accepted the bundle of joy that is about to come. We went for our babymoon in Fukuoka, and we shopped for a lot of baby things, went to 2 baby fairs in Singapore plus 1 baby fair in JB, did all the things that we want to do in Singapore as a couple, went to Legacy Camp, walked many parks, ate alot, and waited for October to come.

Towards the end of the third trimester, we did many various things to try to get baby Samuel out. We did pilates, went to a lot of walks to many parks especially in the 2 weeks before the EDD, but nothing happened. The water bag didn’t break. Haha. So in the end we went for induction.

Thank you Daddy God for a great year of patience, endurance and joy. Thank God for a smooth delivery and healthy and strong baby.


If you had not been to a place for some time, when you go back 10 years later, it feels like you have travelled through a time warp. That’s what I experienced the past few days. The road used to be tiny, but now it is huge. There are new signs for the roads. The colours of the buildings look different. A lot of trees are gone. Some shops are still at the same place, while others no longer there. The place don’t quite look the same as before. Not much seems to look familiar.

What is more interesting is that it seems as if the outside has changed a lot, but the inside has not changed much. This inside is not the physical, but the intangible force of culture and the unspoken rules. The exterior has changed, the interior has not. The memories of the place lingers.

What else have changed over the past 10 years?

Well, at that time, there was no iPhone nor smartphone yet. I was using my trusty Nokia E61 with a Blackberry-like keyboard, and then I switched to a Sony Symbian Walkman phone that had a fingernail (not fingertips) touchscreen and supported hours of offline MP3 playback. There was no 3G/4G nor WhatsApp nor Instagram. Facebook was just starting to be popular. The main mode of communication was SMS as almost everyone had unlimited SMSes. There were no endless group chats. Facebook didn’t have Messenger yet, but we just started to add people has friends. We were just being disrupted by this new world of this thing we now call “social media”, but we do not know the full effects of it yet, as it was restricted mostly to our ADSL/Cable Internet connections. Yes there was no fibre to the home yet and we couldn’t surf the internet on our “dumbphones”.

So then, what did we do in our free time? What did we do when we have idle time during our daily commute? It took me awhile to recall, but most of us would try to read books/magazines, stare into space, or fall asleep. If you had an iPod, you would listen to music. Nobody walked around with our eyes glued to our phones (since most people can SMS without looking at the screen, haha).

What did we do in our idle time at work? Perhaps, some doze off or watch TV in the lounge. There was no Facebook newsfeed for people to be distracted with, except for MSN Messenger or ICQ, perhaps? But even with those instant messaging tools, there was no concept of an “endless scroll” of a “feed” or “stories” that you could be consuming. Things were not really viral. “Sharing” funny comics only happened in the form of email forwarding. Oh yes, there wasn’t Youtube or Buzzfeed either, the only video content that you’d watch is on your TV or in the cinema. And those are longform content, not cute cats and dogs.

I remembered the days where my school friend would call me and ask for directions. Google Maps didn’t quite exist in our Nokia phones definitely, and there was no app for you to check your next bus timing. You simply wait patiently at the bus stop. These days, the moment we reach the bus stop, we check our phones impatiently to see how long is the next bus coming, and then decide whether to feel anxious or not. Not sure if that exactly is a good thing. Booking a taxi also requires you to call the taxi hotline, which is often jammed and useless during peak hours. No one shared their private cars or offered to pick you up, since GrabHitch isn’t really a thing!

Camera phones were not as popular too. Even if your phone had a camera, it is probably less than 1 megapixels. I think there was no selfie camera too. Taking group photos used to require a tripod or someone else’s help. You can’t use your phone to scan the QR code to unlock your Mobike because neither of them exist. Now the thought of not being able to whip out my camera to capture the sunset in front of me and posting it immediately on Instagram makes me feel somewhat “handicapped”. What?!

Our attention span was a lot longer. (If you have read this far, good job!)

By chance, I am now reading a book titled The Church of Facebook by Jesse Rice. In the book, he talks about how Facebook has brought about a new norm, and because of that, people had to spontaneously adapt to it and find new ways of living and connecting. As a result, the lines between acquaintances and close friends have blurred, and there is less distinction of what is considered real community. Following the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman, he proposes that we should conduct our online and offline relationships with intentionality, humility and authenticity. Food for thought: how much of your Instagram/Facebook communication is intentional or authentic? How many of your friends do you have real and authentic relationships with in the real world?

The other side effect of being “hyperconnected” is that we are constantly distracted and we feel the urge to check our phones every other minute. We are seldom “in the moment”, in the present and the now. Our feelings of now is being affected by endless notifications and newsfeed. These causes our relationships in the real word to be less intentional and authentic. Not that being online is totally a bad thing, but occasionally, we need to touch base with the present.

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Hokkaido Trip Diary

We went to Hokkaido in end-October for the first time to chase the autumn foliage. Our itinerary was heavily inspired by BumbleBeeMum’s (https://bumblebeemum.net/) with some alterations. Hokkaido is too big to go everywhere in 7 days, so we decided to concentrate our drive in Central Hokkaido, from Sapporo to Otaru, Niseko, Lake Toya, Noboribetsu and then back to Sapporo again. You could pretty much go through these places clockwise or anti-clockwise, depending on your preference and accommodation availability. Also, we made a wise decision to start and end the trip in Sapporo. In this way, you can leave behind some unneeded (empty) suitcase in your hotel without lugging them in your car, and you can spend the last days shopping to your heart’s desire before heading to the airport! Also, you save money on the car rental as you don’t really need the car in the city itself.

Day 1 – Sapporo

Upon arrival at New Chitose Airport, we took the airport Chuo limousine bus (http://www.chuo-bus.co.jp/highway.en/airport/index.cgi?ope=sap_pole&trjc=8044&trjs=29) to Susukino. We stayed in Mercure Sapporo Hotel, which was recommended by BumbleBeeMum. There are two main areas in Sapporo: the area around the JR Sapporo station with many malls, and Susukino, which is like their equivalent of Gangnam/Osaka with many restaurants and shops in the vicinity. Mercure is in a pretty good location – 1 junction from 2 train stations and the airport bus is diagonally across the road. 

The first day we took a walk to explore the main street linking from Susukino, through Odori Park, passing by the green yards of the European-inspired Former Hokkaido Government Office, before ending up at our first lunch stop – Bariki-ya (Hakata-style) Ramen. It’s a tiny shop under the bridge with only counter seating very similar to Ichiran, and you’ve to order from a vending machine. The noodles were amazing. 

After some shopping at Yodobashi and Daimaru, we wanted to catch the sunset colours at Mount Moiwa but it was too cloudy. So we decided to go to the Sapporo Beer Museum. There are two main ways to get there: take the train and walk a long way, or take the “Factory” Bus 88. You can self-tour the small gallery area, before you can try some samples. 
For dinner, we wanted to eat some Hokkaido Waygu beef, and found Beef Impact along the Tanukikoji Shopping Street. (Our trick to eating when we are overseas – eat early at 5 or 6pm before the main crowd comes, and sleep early to wake up early, to follow the sunset and sunrise timings.) The restaurant allows you to choose beef from local farms or American or Australian. All tastes really good on a hotplate and quite affordable for good steak!

After dinner, we walked down the street with mostly souvenir shops, and we tried the amazing Cremia ice cream made with Hokkaido milk. So creamy and good!

Day 2 – Otaru

We woke up earlier at 5.30am, adjusted our sleep according to the earlier sunrise (6am) and earlier sunset (5am). Unfortunately, nothing much is open yet at that time, but we managed to find a random Udon kiosk in one of the underpass towards Odori station. It’s one of those stand and eat by the side soup Udon with fried tempura, comfy for a cold morning.
We picked up our car, a Nissian X-Trail, at the Nissian Odori rental shop. We began our drive to Otaru via the scenic way – visiting the Hoheikyo Dam first. We were a bit too late to view the autumn foilage, some of the trees were barren, but it was still a nice view nevertheless. You’ve to park and ride the shuttle bus through 2 tunnels to the dam as cars are not allowed at the end. Some people chose to walk through the tunnel, but it seems like a long boring walk. We also took the little funicular lift up the hill for a nicer view.

After that, we drove through Sapporo Lake and stopover for a short break and photo opportunity. The skies and the lake was very blue, and it was beautiful. The road is also quite fun to drive as it curves in a hook down another dam, pretty cool.

Once we reached Otaru, we were hungry and decided to park near the Otarusankaku Fish Market for lunch. It’s a short street with many small shops serving various kinds of kaisen (seafood) don. I learnt that salmon is actually a lousier cut of fish, and tuna is more premium. That’s why most places don’t serve salmon. We had tuna, shredded crab and grilled abalone, everything was very fresh and delicious, and worth it!  

After that, we drove to Otaru canal. I found a 600 yen per entry parking lot, which is more worth it than paying per hour. It’s a short walk from the Otaru Beer Warehouse and the rest of the canal. The canal was shorter than what I expected, a little underwhelming. We stopped by Kita Northern Ice Cream, which has strange ice cream flavours, but we thought it wasn’t that fantastic. 

Once we reached the Sakaimachi street, that’s when the real shopping begins. The street is filled with shops that sells little glassware, figurines, cute things and of course, LeTao cheesecake! In fact, there’s not 1 but 3 LeTao stores along the street. Pop in for samples of everything, and buy a double fromage cheesecake home for breakfast. (The other biscuits and souvenirs, you can buy from the airport when you go home.) We also found a store selling Choux Ice Cream puff and at the end of the street is the famous Music Box museum. The LeTao store at the end of the street also has a small viewing tower, you can climb up the stairs to the top for a nice view of the area. We were too full for dinner, so we ate amazing various kinds of fish cakes at a local fish cake factory called Kamaei. It’s like takeaway yong tau foo – they have fishcake wrapped with various things. 

We ended our day early at an airbnb sea overlooking the street and the sea.

Day 3 to Niseko

This was my favourite day and the day which we did the most driving. After eating LeTao cheesecake for breakfast, we set off for a drive to Otaru Shukutsu Observation deck, a small turnout where we could see the sea and the town.

Next stop was Yoichi, where we visited the Nikki Whiskey Museum. We were early birds, arriving just at 9am when it opened, so there was no other tourists yet. The low rise warehouses where the whiskey are stored gave it a European charm. You can also try whiskey here if you’re not one of the drivers. 

After that, I found a random tiny hipster coffee place called Coffee Stand by shizuku. It’s very near the whiskey museum but it’s really in the middle of nowhere. It’s so hipster that the coffee and the milk was brewed fresh on a stove kettle – no machines at all. So cray. 

We then drove an hour or so towards Cape Shakotan, where we had lunch at Osyokujidokoro Misaki, which was recommended by many bloggers. There were two bike gangs who was riding in front of us and they arrived there as well. This place was known to have the best sea urchins and it didn’t disappoint. First, at 1pm, many items were selling out and they were going to close for the season in end October. So we only could choose the sea urchin don with roe and crab. But you know what, it was the freshest sea urchin I’ve ever tasted, and the biggest and roundest roe I’ve ever seen! It’s so fresh and amazing, no wonder this place is famous. 

After the awesome lunch, we are pumped enough for our first real hike at Cape Shakotan. We walked through this long tunnel which was really windy and cooling, and was rewarded with an amazing view of the ocean and the rocks below. There was a path leading down to the beach. Thinking that this was the hiking path, we descended down. We were WRONG! The steps are like 10 storeys down and the only way up is the same way down. Very tiring to hike back up. We only realised that the actual hiking path wad was the tarmac road before the tunnel. By then, we were too tire already. The beach was nice though and filled with many pebbles. Took us an hour to go down and up. 

Next stop is Cape Kamui, which is my favourite place on earth after Point Reyes. I wanted to come here because it looks so similar to Point Reyes – a combination of the deep blue sea, high cliffs and cooling breeze. Perfect creation of God. It was a nice hike uphill and downhill to the tip, almost looking like the Great Wall of China at certain vantage points. The steps are not as steep as Cape Shakotan’s, but the path is longer and more scenic. At the end, you’re rewarded with the ocean and a few odd rocks. There was also a cute little shiba that actually made it all the way there and Liz managed to carry it to take a photo, although the dog was a bit reluctant. Haha. Noodle wouldn’t have made it out here. The whole walk to and fro was about 90 minutes long, 2 hours if you take more breaks. 

Next stop, Niseko. But before that, supermarket shopping first! Haha. I was trying to find where’s a nice place to take a break from the long drive other than a petrol kiosk. I found an Aeon Maxvalu supermarket on the map and we decided to check it out. Indeed, it looked like those small groceries strip in rural America, but Japanese version haha. We went a bit crazy and managed to stock up enough food to cook breakfast in our apartment the next day! 

Day 4 to Lake Toya

In the morning, it started to drizzle, which turned into a wintery mix of rain and snow, and then snow for real! We drove out of our nice apartment and I had to brave the snow to the checkout counter. The winds were pretty strong from the tychoon that affected Tokyo. We drove to the famous Niseko Milk Kobo to have some nice desserts. The wind was so strong that one of their glass doors broke! We could even see the cars outside wobbling. 
It was actually a good day to snow as the drive to Lake Toya wasn’t too far. Just that it was so cloudy that we couldn’t really see the lake when we approached it. We reached our luxurious Lake Toya Nonokaze, abit too early for check-in. We sat around in the lobby which has a nice view of the lake and the cute island on it but it was too rainy to see Mount Yotei. After much waiting, we finally could check-in and go check out the onsen! It wasn’t very big, there were about 5 different small pools to choose from. 
The highlight of the hotel is the buffet dinner and breakfast. It was a sumptuous spread with top quality sashimi, seafood and more. 

Day 5 to Noboribetsu 

We woke up early to make use of the onsen again. I’m not really into it so I always take a shorter time than the ladies haha. But we managed to try the rooftop outdoor one in the cold. It’s quite an interesting sensation, and the view of Mount Yotei in the morning was clear and therapeutic. 

After checking out, we drove to the nearby volcano eruption site, where there’s a museum of buildings that survived the previous eruption. With the support of Mom, we went on a short hike to the nearest crater. It wasn’t too steep except for one small part, but the view was quite scenic as we went higher. The lake was super blue and the surrounding autumn foilage was beautiful. The crater was a bit too steep for mom, so we climbed out ourselves. Not very big. We managed to go up and down in about 2 hours. We ended up at the volcano museum for a toilet break before we set off. 
We drove to another building that was preserved after another eruption. This one was more interesting as the roof collapsed. Plants started to grow around it. Looks like an apocalyptic scene.

Next stop was the bear museum. The reviews for this particular one wasn’t that great so we skipped it. We took the cable car up Mount Usu. The weather was really really amazing. It was clear skies with no fog and we could see Mount Yotei in the north to the sea in the south, and the surrounding autumn foilage on the mountains. Breathtaking! We did a short hike up along flight of stairs to have a view of the crater area on top of Mount Usu. 

After a quick snack, we drove to a small final overlook of Lake Toya, before proceeding to the fruit farm area. It’s apple season and everywhere has apples! The rest stop / visitor’s centre also doubles up as a supermarket to sample all the different apples. We drove up to the one that bubblebeemom went. We decided not to waste money picking since you have to eat everything you picked and have to pay to dabao the rest. We chanced upon this interesting honey apple that has an exterior of a Washington red apple but an interior like soft peach. Extraordinarily tasty and sweet! 
We began our longer drive to Noboribetsu via the Ofuro Pass. Unfortunately after a short ascent the road was closed, probably due to the snow yesterday. Alas, we have to take the less scenic route via the expressway. We stopped by a bridge which is supposedly nice for autumn foliage but was a bit disappointing. We arrived at Hell’s Valley at sunset. 

After checking in at the Dai-Ichi Noboribetsu hotel, we went to check out the hot springs again! This hotel’s one is ginormous! It’s like the old school roman-style public bath with like 10 different pools and a few outdoor ones. The pools all have different temperatures and coloured spring water. The experience here, although older, is more fun and the hot spring is better. The hotel itself is pretty old and tiny though, our rooms were made of old wood and we slept on futon beds on the floor. 

Day 6

The hotel’s buffet dinner and breakfast are quite comparable too. Less pretty, but alot of variety. After breakfast, we took walk down to hell’s valley which is just a stone’s throw away from the hotel, so save money on parking haha. The autumn leaves on the edge of the cliffs were beautiful. We also went for a short hike into the forests to a place overlooking another sulphur lake. After that, we decided to hike back and check out. 

We started our last day’s drive around Lake Kuttara, which is as recommended by JK. The windy road had nice autumn foliage around it, and the lake was quite scenic too. After that, we stopped by a souvenir/snacks shop just at the corner of the expressway. It sold a lot of local sweets and we managed to buy some nice bean puff thingy. 

Finally, we embarked on the drive back to Sapporo. On the way, we tried to stop by a cow ranch, but the restaurant there wasn’t open and it was very ulu. We also stopped by another small park and decided to take a detour to Lake Shikotsuko to eat cheese mochi! One of the roads towards there was initially closed, so we had to take a longer route. But it was a worthwhile detour. The park at the foot of the lake is beautiful with many trees and autumn foliage and even a little bit of snow. The cheese mochi was so good that we bought two. The drive out of the lake was also impressive and wet and snowy. 

Just before returning the car, we stopped by the Royce Chocolate factory on the outskirts, which we realised wasn’t really worth it since you can buy all the snacks elsewhere at the same price. We also stopped by an Aeon supermarket, which was located in a very American-like strip mall. It felt like I was shopping at Walmart haha. 

Day 7
It’s the last full day in Sapporo with alot of shopping ahead. In the morning, we went to a coffee in a hole in the wall (Baristart) and it was one of the best coffee I’ve ever had. You could choose from 3 different kinds of milk, and they all have different sweetness and richness ratings, and they really tasted different. The coffee was so good that Liz was willing to drink it. Wow. So life changing. 

Mom had a mission to buy cheese, and liz wanted to shop for other stuff. Meanwhile, I still wanted to take the cable car to Mount Moiwa. Hence, we had abit of a dilemma, should I sacrifice my wish so that I can be my wife? Should my wife sacrifice her shopping? She decided to do so, reluctantly, which was the worst decision I let her make. Cos she didn’t feel like going and she was impatient during the journey. I was perfectly fine to go alone actually..In the end the view wasn’t that fascinating after all, missed the sunset timing. 

We still managed to eat black pig, Ippudo for dinner as we couldn’t decide where to go. The waitresses were quite funny, they wanted to take photos with us cos we were tourists lol. 

All in all, it was a very fulfilling Hokkaido trip!

The Cyst Removal

It’s two weeks into my new job! However just before the company retreat, there was a slight attack by the devil as the sebaceous cyst at the centre of my back suddenly became infected. It was actually harmless for many years, no idea when it was first formed. I had to sleep on my side as it’d hurt if I sleep flat. I went to see the GP who gave me some antibiotics. After 5 days, the cyst was still infected and became slightly painful. I went back to the GP and he gave me a letter for me to go to A&E for a saucerization day surgery to remove the carbuncle. I became slightly worried and troubled, and now I know how those people feel when they receive a bad report from the doctor. I took a while to decide whether to go to A&E immediately or not, since it didn’t seem super serious. Called my insurance agent for advice and he told me to go to a private clinic instead, since I have coverage. But have to wait till the weekday.

So I decided to wait till the weekday and call the private the clinic. The doctor from the clinic told me to wait till the infection subside, so that it is easier to just insert a needle, poke a hole and remove all the stuff. Anyway, it was starting to get less painful so I decided to wait. Finally on friday, my mother-in-grace asked me to go to my wife’s uncle, who is a doctor, to take a look. He and everyone else there convinced me to poke a hole immediately and remove all the pus on the spot. Haha. I took a while to decide and I said yes.

So we began the procedure in the clinic and I could see the whole process through a camera and a large TV in front of me. Thank God for local anaesthetic, for I did not feel much pain when the doctor inserted the needle. Apparently, the hole was too small, so he decided to cut a small 1cm hole so that it is easier to squeeze the stuff out. Then he had to insert a scraper of some sort into the hole and try to dig stuff out. It was gross. It took a lot of squeezing and manipulating to squeeze everything out. He had to cut the hole slightly bigger as the cyst tissue was quite complicated. Lots of yellow smelly pus and thick blood came out. He also used a special vacuum tube to suck everything out.

After about 30 minutes, the procedure was complete and my wife had to continue to press on the wound to squeeze any remaining blood out. It was alot. Over the next few days, she has to repeat the same pimple-squeezing-like procedure whenever we change the dressing. She enjoys it though.

After 1 week, the cyst finally disappeared and my back is almost flat now. Praise the Lord.


Jesus didn’t have any local anaesthetic when he went to the cross. At the cross, he took the full effect of the pain experienced when the nails pierced through his hands and his feet. He experienced all the pain when the soldiers strike his back. And by his stripe we are healed, without pain and without shame.

The most exciting week in my job

The past two weeks were like one big event. It was a huge adrenaline rush over the two weeks as I got together everyone in workshops for an external agency from overseas. It felt like the most exciting week of my career as everyday was purposeful. It was meeting after workshop, workshop after meeting non-stop. I brought the agency around the various eating places around my workplace, and gave them a tour of pretty much everything. Everyone participated in the workshops, although my greatest fear was no one would attend them. But it all turned out to be good, and one of the directors even said ‘good job’ in putting everything together and wanted to nominate me for an award. Lol. I also fed the agency folks with regular snacks and tidbits, bought them some local malay kuehs and also organised some user interviews.

The Londoners asked me if there was some packed snacks which they could bring back, but I couldn’t think of any. In the end, I bought some tao sar biah and hong biah from Q Bread which are imported from Malaysia, so somewhat local. Haha. I offered kaya and bak kwa too but they were not interested.

On one of the nights, we went for a drink at the roof top of hotel jen, where there’s a poolside bar with a nice view, kinda like a mini-MBS rooftop. It was quite chill and nice view. My first time having drinks with ‘corporate clients’. After that, I even brought them to gluttons bay and introduced them to satay and carrot cake. I felt like a tour guide. Maybe I should be one lol. 

While Singaporeans complain about our MRT, they tell me that the tube is worse, has more break downs, and is not all air-conditioned. While we complain how hot the weather is recently and we love aircon, they say our weather is perfect and the office is too cold. Haha. Makes me appreciate my country a little more.

Thanksgiving for 2014

Thank you Jesus for 2014 has been a blast! Thank You for:

  • A year of greater glory with Lizzy in which we got engaged on 7 October 2014 and we have secured a wedding venue and now looking for a house =)
  • A few enjoyable overseas trips to Bali, office retreats to Bintan and Batam, and of course, Taipei where I proposed
  • A few amazing church camps, such as Legacy Camp which I had the privilege to serve alongside Lizzy; and Genrev Camp which was short but good
  • Learning many things in my career and being able to try out different roles from business, interaction and innovation, and to be involved in cool projects like F1. Grace grace to more career satisfaction and fulfilment
  • Answering our prayers of finding friends in the same season who are also planning to get married.
  • Expanding the Zone/Dare lights ministry and allowing me to play a bigger role. What a privilege to serve in this house!
  • Keeping us safe from virus and accidents and the darkness of the world
  • An awesome future in-grace family to be in future
  • And above all, Your goodness which will abundantly provide more than we can ask or imagine when we find a house



What are birthdays about

My birthday this year was quite uneventful. Perhaps next time I should take leave to do more crazy things. It was work as usual. At night went to &MADE with Lizzy and ate some atas-looking burgers. It’s a restaurant opened by some Michelin chef but it’s so-so only. After that we went shopping. The haze was not that great so we didn’t walk outdoors much. Went back as usual and walked noodle, played a bit of piano and then went back.

Lizzy gave me a nice handmade card with trains on it. Hahas. And also a  wallet. She totally read my mind, or perhaps I was hinting too much during the Bali trip. Haha.

So because of that I began to wonder what are birthdays about. Is it a selfish thing to want people to celebrate yourself? Is it selfish that you want people to remember your birthday but you don’t remember or bother to celebrate your friend’s? Are cakes and gifts overrated? Are those random wishes from your Facebook friends whom you haven’t met for ages meaningless?

Or perhaps, as Lizzy says, you could turn the tables around and make birthdays all about other people. Use the day to do something different and bless other people. After all, it takes two hands for a handshake. If you are not friends with others, how would you expect other people to be friends with you? Why not make those meaningless Facebook messages meaningful by replying to each of them? Because we are loved and set apart by God, we can do things that are out of the ordinary. Turning the other cheek means to do something totally contradictory to what most people would react to. It means to go the extra mile because you are first loved. But, but, but, it is so hard cos we often seek approval from man instead of from God.

Gardens by the Bay East is not so secret after all

I rented a car from icarsclub for the first time, pretty cool experience, reminds me of zipcar with the unlocking from the phone thing. We drove to The Costal Settlements for dinner. It was pretty crowded for an ulu place. The food is not too bad. Yuzu pie is pretty good.

After that, the plan was to watch fireworks at Gardens by the Bay East. We left at 11pm but was stuck in a jam at Fort Road exit because the traffic light is slow. Then, there was a super long line of people at Tanjong Rhu Road with many people driving in. So my secret place is not so secret after all. Cars were parked everywhere and the clock is ticking. In the end, we drove towards the stadium side and watched the fireworks from the bridge. It was partially hidden by the condos but it was a pretty crowded spot.

It wasn’t what I expected or envisioned and hence I was a bit grumpy about it. Lizzy asked me to let it go, for the company you’re with is more important than the fireworks =) it’s true, but just not the rosy picture I envisioned in my mind.

Gardens by the Bay East is not so secret after all…

Back in Singapore

I’ve been back for about a month. Singapore changed less over the past year as compared to 2010-2011 when the IRs sprang up. Now only have a few new malls like Jem, Plaza Singapura Extension and that bridge over Somerset. This time, after being the 4th time away, the thing I missed most was the food (of course). But I think I managed to get used to the culture and everything pretty quickly. The only thing I miss from USA is the weather. and the humidity. Can’t stand the stickiness and perspiration! I also miss a little of the house I lived in Redwood City, because of  the friends I made there. They were a nice bunch and we kept playing StarCraft 2 together.

While waiting for a job offer, I’ve been bumming around, meeting up and catching up with friends, attended 2 weddings, playing board games, editing videos and serving in church. In fact, I missed serving so much that I came back and started doing lights again immediately. The new LED board is fun to play with too.

Unfortunately, after waiting for a month, I still do not have a job offer. The company that I was originally supposed to work with backed out. Still waiting for the Key of David to manifest in my life.


End of 2012

2013 came without the usual fanfare for me this year. No fireworks at Marina Bay, but there was snow and snowboarding with Daffy and family! 2012 has been a blast, and God has taught me many things, including waiting and being patient on many many things, resting in his grace, guarding my heart and not being afraid, for perfect love cast our fearsand the gospels’ first words were do not to be afraid. Certainly unceasing fruitfulness.Thank you Jesus for…
  • A tiring but fruitful first semester in Pittsburgh. It was one of the busiest semesters I have had, but it also taught be alot about my own working styles and what I like and dislike to do, and how to work well with others.
  • A very fulfilling summer internship at Burpple in Singapore. It was a tough wait to get an internship with a company but Burpple and co has been very nice to me! Even though I didn’t get to work in Lucasfilm or Microsoft in Singapore and I had to wait a long time, Burpple is still a good experience.
  • Hillsong Conference in Sydney and Melbourne. It is certainly fun to go with a huge group of people from our church to support our pastor. He is certainly faithful as I registered for the conference in faith half a year ago without knowing where or what I will be doing. Yet doors were open and I could go to the conference with Dixon and Elisha.
  • A wonderful stay in California. It was certainly a right place and right time and divine appointment which allowed me to get to know the Les and his family through Daffy and to stay with them. I will miss the food, the home and the noise! Thank God for giving me the patience and wisdom to make decisions like buying a car.
  • Another fun semester in Silicon Valley in which I get to do what I like to do: filming, editing and post-production. Thank God for more than enough time to finish everything which we wanted to do, as well as being able to learn new tools such as Nuke.
  • And all the adventures I have had: Mount Kinabalu in Jan, road trip to Florida in spring break, Sydney and Melbourne, Crater Lake, LDI, Death Valley, Lake Tahoe and more.
  • And being able to attend all the wonderful concerts like Winter Jam.
Patience also relates to how all my technology seemed to break down. My laptop display wasn’t working and I had to wait very long and after finding 2 places to diagnose, the verdict was the motherboard and display chip is not working. Not worth it to repair so I sold to a repair shop for $100. Haha. The other thing was my tablet’s touchscreen is going cranky. And to think that I managed to survive on a half-broken tablet and no laptop apart from the desktop in school is amazing. Only my phone is still surviving.