Today is actually one of the days I’ve planned the earliest. I had messaged Dray several months before I was coming to let him know that I’d be arriving in Singapore in Sept, and wanted to meet him! He had previously met a bunch of volare translators back when Etvo (my previous boss and ex-owner of volarenovels) went to visit in 2017.
Anyway, I had met Dray probably around 2017 in the volare discord server. At the time, I still hopped on voice chat once in a while, so I recalled karaoking with him a few times. We don’t talk that much, but I’d say we have a pretty good relationship. Throughout the years, he has been helping us moderate the discord server, and tries to help me motivate/message the translators to get them to release more frequently. Thanks, Dray!
As for Mel, I had met him years ago through singing on discord as well. I remembered I was so amazed by his voice that I joined his personal server just to listen to him sing! AHAHAHAHA. That was so many years ago. We had stopped talking for three years. But when I decided that I was going to go to Singapore, I messaged him because I wanted to go sing karaoke with him!
Next, Rozen was also someone I have known for years. I think he was translating/helping Sigil out years ago. Back then, I remembered people teased him and called him Rosie. Hahaha. Rozen and I used to talk more, but we’ve spoken less over the years. However, it was very easy to reconnect with him. I was looking forward to meeting him in person as well!
Chou and Raku also joined us in the morning. Chou had gone to Night Safari with me the night before, so she was exhausted, but she still came out again to hang out and see me!! Thank you, Chou!!!
Raku was supposed to have class today (even though it was a Sunday?), but she got someone to help her record the lecture, so she came out too! Raku gave me a lot of face and saw me many times throughout the week. Thank you, Rakuuuuu!
Anyway, as mentioned earlier, I had created this group chat months ago. I really wanted to see Dray, but due to personal reasons, he was only available near his area. So, I decided to go travel to Lakeside to have KFC breakfast with him!!
I mentioned this in the group chat, and everyone I have mentioned so far decided to join as well. I actually felt kind of bad, since it was so early in the morning, but I guess they also wanted to spend time with me and Dray and have KFC breakfast?!
In Canada, we don’t have a separate menu for KFC breakfast, so when Cosy showed me the KFC chicken congee (they call it porridge in Singapore), I really wanted to try it!!! Dray said there was a KFC near him, so that’s why we went there.
Apart from Dray, everyone listed above was supposed to meet at Lakeside station at 8:30am and we would walk there together. I had left my hotel by 7:30am since I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t be late. I only had to transfer from the blue line to the green line, but I wasn’t sure if there would be any delays.
I messaged in the group chat when I left, and everyone else said they were going to be late.
By now, I was an expert on the subway system and had memorized all the colours and directions. So since I knew Raku lived on the north side, I was like, “Are you on the red line right now?”
And she was so impressed. Her reaction was, “Wow! How do you know, Grace? You went from being clueless to a Singaporean local!” Hehe. I was proud.
Chou was coming from the purple and orange line, while Raku was coming from the red line. Both Rozen and Mel already lived near the green line.
Anyway, I ended up arriving at Lakeside station by 8:10am, and I was planning to go to KFC first. But Raku said she was almost there, and I think she wanted me to wait for her, so I decided to wait.
The subway was really fast, so even though everyone was late, everyone had arrived by 8:40am.
It was really nice to meet Rozen and Mel in person! Actually, Mel, Rozen, Chou have all met Dray before. Raku had also met Chou and Rozen years ago as well. So, they weren’t really strangers.
Previously, Dray had mentioned that he would have anxiety if he had to talk to so many people, but I was like, “Yo, I haven’t met any of you guys. You have at least met everyone except for me and Raku. Shouldn’t I be the stressed one?”
And Dray replied, “But you’re crazy.”
I gave him a -_- emoji as a response.
Originally, we were going to walk from the station, but the bus came, and we ended up taking the bus. Mel was very happy!
When we got to KFC, we sat down and waited for Dray, who arrived shortly after. Chou had told me that Dray was quite tall, so I was already prepared. But if she hadn’t told me, I would have probably made a joke about his height too.
Meanwhile, Dray had told me that Chou was really short, but Chou is at least an inch or two taller than me. *sniff sniff*. Oh yeah! Chou made a very good pun. She said we were going to Lakeside to see the Draygon! Get it? (dragon). I thought that was very punny!! High five, Chou!
Anyhow, Dray asked us what we wanted to eat, and we wrote it down on a sheet of paper. Of course, I ordered the KFC congee aka porridge with a cold milo!! Hehe. I’m not going to tell you what everyone else ordered because I forgot. But Dray ordered and treated us. I told him not to do that, but he insisted. I think it’s because he’s the eldest and he’s old-fashioned. It was nice of him, but I feel bad!! Next time, it’s my treat, Dray!
Here’s a picture of what they showed online:
Nonetheless, it was nice, and I thought it was so cool how they have a congee option!!
Somehow, our conversation ended up being translation related. Dray and Rozen were saying how some of the Singaporean subtitles/translations are very literal, and that they are really bad. They gave me an example and said, “Roll for me.”
I was flabbergasted. What? Roll for you?
And then they said it in Mandarin. “给我滚”. HAHAHA. It was so funny!! That basically means, “Fuck off” or “Get out of my sight!”. But 滚 also means roll, depending on context; and 给我 is give me. So that’s how some people got “Give me roll, or roll for me.”
It sounded so funny though!! So whenever they made fun of me, I said, “Give me roll!” AHAAHAHAHA. I thought it was so amusing.
Dray asked us what we were doing after breakfast, and I said we were going to check out Haw Par Villa. According to Wikipedia, Haw Par Villa is a theme park that contains over 1,000 statues and 150 giant dioramas depicting scenes from Chinese mythology, folklore, legends, history, and illustrations of various aspects of Confucianism. It is also known as the “Hell Museum”.
Honestly, it was quite creepy, but I wanted to see it since it sounded kind of cool. Mel actually suggested it even though he was not a fan. He just thought it’d be an interesting experience for me.
Raku thought it was kind of fascinating. I think Rozen and Chou hadn’t gone since elementary school days, but they were down to go with me as well.
Dray then bought us each a bottle of water so that we would be hydrated for our next destination. Thank you for being so kind, Dray!!
We said bye to Dray, and then hopped onto a bus that would take us directly to Haw Par Villa. On the bus, me and Rozen sat together, and he said that he actually had a date that day! So he said after Haw Par Villa, he had to go home to freshen up before he’d come karaoke with us. We were going to go karaoke from 2-4pm.
Rozen said he met the girl online, and it was their first meeting! I asked him why he doesn’t try meeting people through rock climbing. He said people at the climbing gym want to focus on climbing, and they don’t want to be hit on. Then, he asked Chou if she would like to get hit on while rock climbing, and Chou said, “That’s weird.”
But I would have thought it’s easier to talk to random strangers while you’re doing the same activity. What do you think?
Anyhow, we arrived at Haw Par Villa, and it was SO HOT. Everything is outdoors apart from the museum itself. I think Mel was dying. HAHAHA. We took some cool pics, and Rozen was super knowledgeable!! He knew probably every folklore or legend, and started explaining/telling us the stories. Me and Raku were very impressed. He could be a tour guide there!!
I wanted to go to the Hell Museum, but no one seemed to want to, so I wasn’t going to do it since it was $18. But Rozen felt like I had to experience the whole thing, so he said he would go with me. So we went inside while the others waited outside since they didn’t want to go in (too creepy + they didn’t want to pay).
It was actually very creepy. Rozen was telling me to take a picture of the coffin, but I didn’t want to, in case it was haunted and the spirits followed me. There were more myths/legends inside, and there was one in particular that I recalled very strongly.
It was a woman letting her mother suck on her breast. Apparently, the mother was starving, and the daughter was being filial in order to feed her mother. But to me, it didn’t make sense. Because if that actually happened, it doesn’t seem like something you would go and tell the world. “Hey, guess what? My mom was starving so I let her drink my breast milk!”
It seemed like something you would only keep to yourself. So I think it’s kind of weird? Maybe people just made it up.
And then I remembered my mom had always told me that if I ever need to take a piss in the wild, I need to say, “Excuse me.” But I was like, “What? That is so lame?”
And Rozen explained, “It’s because there are tree spirits, and perhaps you are invading their territory.”
I replied, “But why would the Canadian tree spirits understand Cantonese? That’s ridiculous.”
My mom was kind of mad when I said that, but you must admit I have a good point.
Anyway, we saw different dioramas of the hell scenes. There are ten gates of hell, and eighteen levels. The punishments are quite intense. I thought it was scary, but also cool. Thanks to Rozen for taking the time to show me around!
Meanwhile, Fallen had messaged me on discord asking me what he should wear. He was coming for the 2pm karaoke. I told him, “Wear whatever you want. Or don’t wear anything.” LOL
Whenever people ask me what they should wear, I just tell them to wear whatever they want. But if they asked me which looks better, and I have something to compare, I would be able to make a choice.
After Haw Par Villa, Chou said we should go eat something. Initially, we were going to try the beancurd, but that wasn’t lunch, and Chou suggested we eat Bak Kut Teh. In Chinese, it’s 肉骨茶, which is meat bone tea, if I translate it literally.
It was actually quite a unique experience. I have never tried anything like it. It tastes kind of peppery. Haha. I don’t know how to explain food, so just go look at the picture instead.
Because Singapore is so hot and has limited space, a lot of the time, you are sitting outside when you dine. Luckily, there is shade. Cosy also messaged and said she would join us for karaoke.
Originally, we were going to go rock climbing after lunch, but because Raku and Mel said they didn’t want to climb, and also because I wasn’t like a super hardcore fan, Fallen said we should do something else instead that everyone would be willing to participate in. Mel said he was obese, and couldn’t climb. But when we saw him in real life, he looked normal. I think he would be a size medium in America. Asian standards are so ridiculous.
Raku just wasn’t comfortable. I was ok with climbing or not. I’m not very good at it, but I don’t mind trying. I’ve done it twice in my life! Anyway, the day before, we decided to scratch rock climbing and just go straight to karaoke.
Next time, I will go rock climbing with Chou and Rozen and Fallen and whoever that wants to go. I’ll also go kayaking since I never got to go. It’s really hard to plan big group activities, so I’ll probably just ask 4-5 people max. I think 4-6 people is a good number.
Anyway, me, Chou, Mel, Raku finished lunch, and Cosy came around 3pm (just in time). Fallen was taking his sweet ass time because he had to look pretty, and Rozen was going to meet us there since he had gone home to freshen up.
Karaoke in Singapore is actually quite expensive. They charge per person, and it was $27 each for two hours or something. But interestingly enough, they allow people to bring their own drinks inside (in the west, you can’t bring outside food or drinks in).
By the way, I also went karaoke on the 15th, but that was a party room event where the room could fit 30 people. This one was a small group.
It was very nice to hear everyone sing!! Rozen and Raku knows Japanese, and Cosy knows Korean. I also got to hear Mel sing live!! Mel has a super soulful voice, and I joked and said he could be the next JJ Lin. But he is shy and doesn’t like it when I praise him too much. He told me not to tell people he’s good at singing, but he’s pretty damn pro.
I like karaoking in Singapore because most of the people I know can actually sing Mandarin songs, or they could understand it. In Canada, I’m the only one or one of the few people who could sing Chinese songs amongst my friends. Most of my friends born here can barely speak the language, so they definitely can’t read/sing it. Sometimes, I want them to understand what I’m singing so they could also enjoy the song and the meaningful lyrics, but it’s hard. I do translate once in a while.
I also like listening to different type of songs. I really like listening to other languages. I wanted them to sing a Hokkien song as well, but sadly, no one sang a Hokkien song. I can only sing Cantonese, Mandarin, or English.
Cosy was pretty pro and could also rap in Korean! I find it very impressive. Raku was really shy, so she barely sang. I think she sang like a handful of Japanese songs. Rozen and Mel sang a lot, and Chou sang some drama songs. Remember how we talked about cute guys from dramas? Hehe. It was really nice. I also enjoy listening. It’s like a real life concert!
Fallen eventually showed up, but because he isn’t comfortable singing, he didn’t really sing either. He actually asked Cosy what she thought of his voice, and she chuckled.
“You know… God is fair. He gave you the face, and took away your voice… You are kind of tone deaf.” She was joking, but not really at the same time. It was kind of mean, but also a compliment. I was so surprised she said that. Oh Cosy. AHAHAHAHA.
And then Cosy said to me, “You know, I didn’t come for you. I came for Fallen.” And Fallen went, “Yeah, I didn’t come for you. I came for Cosy.”
And the both of them ganged up and teased me some more. Fallen declared, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”
I gave them both dirty looks and focused on singing while they continued to chat. I had to focus on the screen so I wasn’t really paying attention to what they were saying.
We ended up extending karaoke for another hour (until 5pm), then when time was up, the lady actually gave us another hour FOR FREE because it wasn’t busy! I was like, “Yay!” (so we sang until 6pm)
People probably have no idea how much I love karaoke. If I have someone singing with me, I could sing for six hours straight. I could probably handle four hours by myself as long as I was hydrated enough.
Rozen had to leave by 5:30 because he had to meet his date. We wished him the best of luck, and I said, “I’ll see you on the 15th!”
After karaoke, we were thinking of what to eat. In the end, we went to Chinatown and chose a 麻辣 (Mala) place. Basically, you select everything you want, and the sauce, and then they will weigh the items and charge you and cook it for you. It is a bit similar to hot pot, but there is no pot, and it goes by how heavy (much food) it is.
I cannot handle spicy, so we picked a tomato base for one of them, and I forget what they had for the other one. It looked like a peanut or satay sauce. It was good, but it wasn’t too filling.
After we ate, some of them got a bubble tea, and we went for desserts downstairs. We ordered two of the shaved ice/bingsu. It’s like sweet ice. I don’t know how to describe it, so here’s a picture:
And Cosy also ordered some yam paste thing. She asked me how it tasted, and I said it tasted like yam. LOL She didn’t like my answer. HAHAHA.
They were telling me that July was the ghost month. Apparently, that’s when the spirits return and they wander around. The day after, Chai’s family also told me about the ghost month too. I don’t know why people keep telling me about haunted stuff. I feel like everyone just wants to scare me. I am a chicken, ok?
Cosy shared a lot of stories of her childhood and teenage years. She was such a mischievous girl and often played pranks on people. But because of her image, I shall not disclose what was shared. (I’m so nice)
After desserts, we walked around outside for a bit, and went inside a huge pharmacy store. They had all sorts of Chinese medicines.
By then, it was probably 9 something, and Chou said she had to go home since she had work the next day. I thought I’d see Chou on the 15th, but sadly, that was the last time I saw Chou. Thank you for spending your weekend with me, Chou!!!
We were walking back and decided to stop by Clarke Quay. Fallen asked me to describe everyone we had just hung out with using two adjectives that is NOT pretty or cute (Haha). I kept describing everything as pretty or cute.
I described Fallen as sharp-tongued, and I struggled with the second word. Raku tried to help me and suggested, “Two-faced?” LOLOLOL (because he’s such a bully towards me). Fallen refuted, “No, I have a thousand faces, just like your novel.” (Raku translates Consort of a Thousand Faces. AHAHAHA)
Eventually, I came up with “thoughtful”. As for Cosy, she was “mischievous” and “bully”. Cosy gave me a pouty face. “If you think I’m a bully, then I won’t come see you again.” Ugh, that woman just likes seeing my reactions!!! She keeps giving me that innocent look when she’s not even innocent and shocking me with her eyes!!
I described Raku as welcoming and flexible; Chou as committed and logical; Mel as soulful and touching; Rozen as patient and nice; and last but not least, Dray as giving and helpful. I asked them to describe me, and Fallen replied, “Stupid and unprepared.” That hater!
Mel commented, “We aren’t banned from the c and p word, right?” AHAHA. But I don’t think anyone else described me. I should really ask them again. I’ll tell them to read the post and let me know! Humph!
Anyway, me, Fallen, and Cosy wanted to check out one of the bars, and Raku also stayed with us. Mel decided he had to go home as well, because he had work the next day. He said he might see me again, but he didn’t want to promise in case he couldn’t. I told him that we were going to go to Universal Studios Singapore on the 14th unless it was raining. He said he might be free partially that day, so to let him know if we didn’t end up going to USS (In case you’re wondering, we didn’t end up going to USS).
So now, it was just me, Raku, Fallen, and Cosy. We got a table for four, and wanted to convince Raku to drink some soju. However, Raku was still too scared of getting drunk, and refused. So we got three bottles and just shared amongst us three. I wasn’t sure if we could finish it, but we did.
We continued chatting more. Raku ended up leaving around 11. I think we stayed close to midnight or maybe around 1am.
There was live music, and it was very nice. The performer sang in different languages, and it was so impressive! I thought it was a bar with a warm atmosphere. I wouldn’t mind going back again in the future. Clarke Quay is a very popular spot for tourists and foreigners, and it was only around a ten-minute walk from my hotel!
Anyway, we finished the three bottles, and Fallen and Cosy walked me back to my hotel. I invited them to stay for a bit as well, since Cosy hadn’t seen my room and was curious. I told her she could sleep over with me, but she didn’t want to. She said she would get her own room if anything, and asked if Fallen wanted to join her in a joking way.
Cosy said that she was under orders to spend time with me because Jasper had told her to spend more time with me. I gave her another dirty look. But I was also glad to spend more time with Cosy, since I never got to spend much time with her in LA.
Cosy and Fallen made some inappropriate jokes, but I honestly don’t remember that much. I will share more on Day 5, since that was much more vivid for me. Those two were nuts.
Cosy and Fallen also told me not to trust strangers so easily. I told Fallen that I wouldn’t have gone to just anyone’s house. I said it was because I trusted him and my gut. And he was like, “Well, I hope your gut is never wrong, or your gut will be out of you.”
And they were telling me that I would probably be sold or chopped up or kidnapped or raped if I was in another SEA country. Sigh. I mean, I really don’t go around talking to random people and befriending everyone. There are different levels!! I’m also super close to Prem (whom I will be talking about on Day 4!!!). The foundations are different. Some people I may only chat with every quarter or half a year, but because of our deep connection, I’m still very close to them even if we don’t talk chat often (both male and female). For example: I hadn’t privately messaged Taffy in years (we chat in a mutual server), and I stayed at her house for two nights while I was in San Diego! I feel like you don’t have to talk to someone that often if you’re close. I have lots of friends I may only see once or twice a year, but we have a super close bond in real life. Quality yo!
Anyway, Cosy told me that she was worried for me at first, but I said she shouldn’t worry since Fallen was also in a bunch of other group chats, and I said he was trying to get MORE people to join, not for me to just hang out with him. And they hit it off very well, so they kept each other company whenever the group was bigger. After all, I wanted to talk to everyone.
I think they left at 3am that night. I don’t remember exactly. The next day, I would be seeing Prem and Bunbun at 11am! It’ll be another fun day, so stay tuned for more!!