Day 6: Sept 14th
If you haven’t read my Day 5 post, please read that before this one! Initially, I had wanted to go to Universal Studios Singapore today with Cosy and J.Andie, but because it looked like it was going to rain, I didn’t want to risk it since we wouldn’t want to be rained upon if the rides were mainly outdoors. Furthermore, me and Cosy had only gotten 2 hours of sleep or so the night before.
So, I messaged in the Sept 14th group chat and postponed breakfast by an hour, and I think we met around 10:45-11am.
There were six of us in total. Mel, Cosy, J.Andie, Chai, me, and Victor. This was the first time I was meeting J.Andie and Victor. J.Andie is one of the managers that help us manage the Korean translators on Wuxiaworld, and Victor is an artist that helped us draw covers for I Shall Seal the Heavens and Desolate Era ebooks!
J.Andie is Cosy’s best friend in real life, and also an extremely hardworking staff that has helped us tremendously. We don’t know each other too well, but she is a very patient, thoughtful, responsible, and calm person to be around. I was happy she came out! Thank you, J.Andie!!
As for Victor, I had found him on reddit years ago, and got him to work for us around three years ago. We got along quite well, and sometimes we would chat about random stuff, so when I was coming to Singapore, I wanted to see if he would come out to meet. I knew he has a young daughter, so it was difficult. Furthermore, his wife was on a business trip the week I was here, so he really didn’t have time. Luckily, he had some time after dropping his daughter off at Kindergarten and said he wouldn’t mind meeting for brunch.
Meanwhile, Chai had work, and she couldn’t actually take time off since she had recently changed into another position. As a result, she brought her laptop and had a bit of time to spend with us. I really appreciate you for coming out, Chai!! NEXT TIME WE NEED TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER!!
If you’ve read my Day 4th post, you’ll know that I’ve already met Chai and her family. But we didn’t talk much since I had spent the majority of the time talking to her mom.
Anyway, Cosy was truly giving me a lot of face since she had already come out MULTIPLE times and she was dying from exhaustion, but she still came out again. Thank youuuu! And Mel, even though he said he probably wouldn’t have time again, he came for brunch! I appreciate it very much, everyone!
We went to Ya Kun for brunch, and this place has many branches in Singapore. Before coming, I actually went on the website and read about its history and founder. I find that stuff very interesting.
Anyhow, I tried the Kaya toast, and it was SO SWEET. I did not expect it to be *that* sweet. It was good, but a teeny bit was enough for me.
Kaya is basically coconut jam. It’s yummy yummy!
The combo also came with an egg, and you could dip your toast into the egg. Mmm.
Since I was the first one there, I tried to hog a table for us all, but I was worried that it would be difficult since the seats filled up so quickly, and it was hard to try to save a table for six people if I was the only one there.
About five to ten minutes later, someone sat down and I almost said, “Yo, this is taken!” But I realized it was J.Andie! I didn’t know what she looked like prior, so I didn’t know. Haha. I gave her a look and she revealed her name. Haha.
Mel came shortly after and then Victor joined us! I also didn’t know what Victor looked like, and he wasn’t sure either, so when he came up to me, he was like, “Grace?”
I thought Victor looked really cool with his semi-pony tail. Very artistic. He mentioned how my itinerary was so hardcore.
Initially, I had wanted to go kayaking, and Victor said he would have been interested too. In the end, it seemed too difficult to organize, so I decided to do something else instead. I think next time I would try to go kayaking, but maybe just ask a handful of people so it’s not too difficult to plan. It’s SOOOOOOOOOO much work to organize events!
Anyway, Chai and Cosy showed up soon and we all ordered and ate! We went to Starbucks afterwards, because we couldn’t stay at Ya Kun since there is limited space in Singapore, and you really can’t sit around and hog the seats once you’re done.
So, the six of us went to Starbucks within the same mall. I was REALLY shocked by how expensive the drinks were. Starbucks is very expensive in Canada, but it was even more expensive in Singapore! I felt like most of the drinks were $8 or higher. Meanwhile, their bubble tea was half the price. For us, it’s the other way around.
Something interesting to note is that in Singapore, usually one person orders, and then everyone just pays that person. I’m not sure what they use, but it’s like an e-transfer but with their phone numbers.
They want to save the server time, so it’s very common for them to do this. But in the west, we usually just pay separately. It’s less efficient, but I think because it’s too much work to calculate everything separately since we have to add tax and tip on top of our bills. In my province, tax is 13%, and tip is typically 15%.
Anyway, we sat at Starbucks and chatted some more. I was telling Victor how Singaporeans don’t like to be touched. I complained about how people don’t like to hug, and in general, it seems like no one wants any physical contact with people they don’t know (and even if they know, it’s still a very “don’t touch me” kind of vibe).
Victor agreed, and said he definitely notices a difference between people in Singapore and people in North America. I think in the west, we’re generally a lot friendlier to random strangers. It’s not uncommon for people to talk to you and have an actual conversation even if they don’t know your name or know anything about you. You could walk on the street, and someone might compliment your outfit or appearance in a genuine way.
However, I’m not sure if this is more of a Canada/US thing, as I went to Europe, and I don’t think anyone really tried talking to me except to get me to buy souvenirs or sign stuff (most likely a scam).
Since I was sitting next to Victor, I spoke to him the most in Starbucks. Victor told us about his family’s reaction when he decided to become a freelance artist. It’s not easy to pursue your passion and also earn a stable income, so Victor was very brave. Asian parents usually want their children to choose a more stable route, and they look down upon the arts. Victor says now that he’s doing alright, his parents think he’s ruining his eyesight by being in front of the computer too much.
Soon, Chai had to leave and return back to work, and Victor had to go home, so me, J.Andie, Mel and Cosy went to the National Museum of Singapore!
I had wanted to go to multiple museums, but time was limited, so I picked only one. The National Museum of Singapore is free for Singaporean citizens. Cosy said it’s because the government knows that most people won’t go even if it’s free. Haha.
When I got there, I was really impressed. Singapore has such nice exhibits. I got to learn about the history of Singapore, and it was so touching reading about it. Singapore became a country in 1965, and they used to be part of Malaysia before they were kicked out.
Since they got kicked out, Singapore had to basically figure out how to survive on its own. I am not an expert, so I can’t tell you too much, but Singapore went from a place with nothing to a mega city in a generation. The first prime minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, is a very impressive man.
I even watched some of his clips on youtube before, so it was very touching seeing how he was so determined to help Singapore become prosperous and successful.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytMXSLeqFMY here is a short one.
Just see how powerful his speech is!!! I feel like he has the ability to move people. Sigh. I’m not Singaporean, but I felt so emotional in the museum while reading about his contributions and achievements.
I’m very into history, so I really enjoyed it. Soon, Mel had to leave because he had an appointment, and the rest of us continued going through more exhibits.
Cosy, me, and J.Andie watched the clips of Singaporeans recalling their experiences during the Second World War. It was so sad, and Singapore was so poor back then.
There was also a clip of someone mentioning how some people who were lifting rice bags felt so bad for the kids that they would purposely poke some holes in the bag so that some rice could leak out and the kids were able to scoop some and take it home to feed their families.
Although Singapore has some really strict laws, I really think the Singaporean government just wants to help their people. When I was there, I felt really safe, and there weren’t crazy people everywhere (unlike downtown Toronto).
Anyway, Cosy said the museum felt more meaningful now that she was older. In the past, she didn’t really understand the sufferings and pain the older generations went through.
After we were done at the museum, we went to eat at an outdoor food court. Cosy said it was similar to a hawker centre, but it was the expensive kind near Marina Bay Sands. We were near the Harbourfront, and I could see the merlion!
The food was quite yummy, and Cosy also got us the sugarcane drink to cool down. I thought the dishes were spicy even though they were mild. Nonetheless, it was so delicious.
You can check out more food pictures on my instagram.
During dinner, J.Andie and I talked about how crazy Cosy were, and J.Andie says she’s always entertained by her. It’s funny how they’re best friends, yet they’re SOOOO different from each other. J.Andie is so calm, quiet (in general), and patient. Whereas, Cosy is very spontaneous, naughty, and bold.
It was a great meal, and even though we ate outside, it wasn’t too hot. After we were done eating, we took a stroll around the area, and J.Andie says the hotels in that area probably cost hundreds or thousands a night. She said she’s been inside one of them, and it was very impressive. Furthermore, you can get the ocean view!!
Cosy asked me if I wanted to pose with the Merlion and pretend I was drinking water, and of course I did! She took a pic. It’s not perfect, but it’s good enough lol.
After that, I went back to my hotel and went to shower. Thy wanted to meet up, but I didn’t want to go far since I was checking out the next day, and I didn’t want to stay out so late. I told him if he didn’t mind, he could come to the bar/lounge at my hotel and we could just chill downstairs. I was staying very close to Fort Canning Station, so it was pretty convenient if he took the MRT.
Initially, I had invited Thy to join me on the next day since it was the huge WW karaoke event that I had planned months ago. But Thy was a bit sick and coughing, and he didn’t want people to think he had covid (he didn’t have covid).
He was worried that I thought he was using sickness as an excuse, since another WW translator, OMA, also cancelled today and said he had covid. So, Thy actually showed me some screenshots of his conversations with other people to prove he wasn’t lying. HAHA. Oh Thy. It’s okay!
Anyway, Thy said if I wasn’t scared, he was willing to come out and meet up, so I was like, ok.
I have been Thy’s direct manager for the past few years, so we speak relatively consistently, and usually I would ask how he’s doing. I know he had been living in Vietnam for years with his girlfriend at the time. However, he had moved back to Singapore in 2022 (I think? Or it might have been in 2021…)
Anyway, Thy said he was here. Several months ago, he had sent me a photo with my boss and several other WW translators from years ago, so I wasn’t worried he’d kidnap me or anything. However, even though I had seen a picture of him, I had never met him so I wasn’t really sure what he looked like now (the photo was from 7 years ago or so).
I wasn’t expecting Thy to be so tall. He wasn’t as tall as Limit, but he was tall! I think he was at least six feet (182cm).
We entered the bar lounge and there was live music. We both ordered a beer and we chatted. It wasn’t awkward at all because I have already spoken to Thy many times online. He was coughing quite a bit though, and I told him he needs to fix his sleeping schedule (not that I have a great one myself. HAHAHA).
Thy mentioned how he had met Yeow, OMA, Wei, and my boss Ren years ago. At the time, Wei was only fifteen and he was underage!! They had to hide him in the back and luckily the people checking IDs didn’t end up checking Wei’s.
OMA, Yeow, Wei and Thy have been translating on Wuxiaworld for years, and they have been around way before I had started working for Ren.
I had invited all of them to join me the next day, but because OMA said his entire family had covid, he wasn’t coming. Thy said that Yeow was really shy and quiet, and Wei was also on the more quiet side. Thy said him and OMA were more wild and that we could hang out together next time.
I was actually looking forward to meeting OMA and singing karaoke with him. OMA had actually said he wanted me to extend the time since he said three hours of karaoke wasn’t enough. Too bad, OMA. I guess we’ll have to sing together in the future!
Anyway, I told Thy I went to the National Museum of Singapore earlier that day, and I was really impressed by Lee Kuan Yew. Thy said Lee Kuan Yew’s sons are trash compared to their father. Aiya.
Thy mentioned he wanted to go on a road trip or a trip to Thailand or somewhere else that’s not Singapore. I told him I can’t drive, and if he wants to go on a road trip, he’d need to get other people to drive, so he isn’t the only one doing all the work.
Thy sounded like he didn’t want to stay in Singapore, and I asked him why. He said that Singapore is too small, and he said OMA doesn’t want to stay in Singapore either. I know OMA has been wanting to leave for a while now. It’s interesting how they want to leave, but I want to move there. Likewise, so many people want to move to Canada, but I think Canada is way overhyped. We have eight months of winter and terrible weather. The sun sets at 4pm in the winter. I guess the grass is always greener on the other side.
Thy told me that I could get an extended tourist visa or something, because that was what his ex-girlfriend did back then. She just kept renewing it… I think it allows visitors to stay 90 days.
I told him I’ll probably try other countries that are less difficult. Perhaps Taiwan…
Anyway, Thy told me about his life back then as a police officer, and the types of crimes he had witnessed. He said once he went into a flat, and the man had killed his wife and daughter and burnt their bodies and that the flat still smelled burnt and the bed was black from the fire. It was pretty gruesome. I was surprised the man didn’t even try to hide his deed. Maybe he thought he was going to be caught anyway, and was just waiting until he was discovered.
Anyway, me and Thy chatted for probably two hours or so, and then I told him that I had to go since I was checking out the next day, and I needed to sleep because I was severely sleep-deprieved. I thanked him for coming all the way to my area to meet up, even though he didn’t have to.
I asked him to take a picture with me, and he said he didn’t know how to take a selfie. I couldn’t believe it.
Guys really don’t take pics. -_-“
Because he was so tall, he had to bend down a lot or he wouldn’t have his head in the picture. Ooops. I told Thy I’ll let him know if/when I come visit Singapore again. Next time, perhaps we could hang out with OMA and the others. I’ll probably keep it somewhat small since it is way too much work to plan large group events. Perhaps around 6-8. I’ll try to get some girls to join me so I’m not the only girl. Haha.
I also told Thy he should try to quit smoking since it’s expensive and bad for his health. I know it’s none of my business, but I think it would be better for him. But guys don’t like it when people tell them what to do, and it’s not like he doesn’t know already, so whether he quits or not is not something I can control. I hope he will eventually quit though!
Anyway, that is all for Day 6. It’s much more calm compared to the previous days, but I hope you found it interesting nonetheless!