Day 4: Sept 12th

If this is the first time you’re seeing this post, please check out Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3 before reading this!

I met Bunbun and Prem today!!! Both Bunbun and Prem translated on volare before I did.

At the time, I was translating on my own site. Etvo had actually tried recruiting me six months prior, but I didn’t want to give up on my site, so I refused her at first. Later on, I became Prem’s reader, and we started talking. We got along really well, and we would joke around a lot. He is my second Singaporean friend; I had met both him and Fallen during the summer of 2016.

Hence, I was more receptive to translating on volare when Prem brought it up. Eventually, Etvo found out we were close and asked me to join a second time. This time, I agreed! I probably wouldn’t have joined volare if it wasn’t for Prem, and things would be quite different now. (I eventually ended up managing volarenovels, and working on Wuxiaworld, hiring over 30 people for Ren)

Anyway, I remembered Prem was very punny and we would talk for hours about random stuff. At one point, he told me he had a crush on Bunbun, and I was supporting him from behind my laptop. I had also read Bunbun’s translations, and knew of her since we were all translating on the same site. But at the time, I didn’t know her well since we had never spoken privately.

Eventually, Prem and Bunbun met in person, and they started dating shortly after. Hehe. Because Prem and I used to talk A LOT, he told me all the juicy details and the thoughts that were running through his mind. It was actually so cute. Good job for being brave, Prem!

And now, they’re happily married!!

It’s so neat because they wouldn’t have met if it weren’t for translating, and then they would’ve never gotten together!

Sadly, Bunbun and Prem stopped translating several years ago, and they are doing their own thing now. Nonetheless, I still message them once in a while, and funnily enough, I have spoken to Bunbun more over the recent years instead of Prem!

However, when I told them I was coming, they were both looking forward to seeing me. They took off Monday because they thought it would be less crowded and wanted to take me around the Marina Bay Sand area.

That morning, I took the subway and got off at the Bayfront stop (I think). When I exited the station, I saw a casino entrance in the mall, and there were a lot of luxury brands around.

I was a bit early, so I took a brief look around the mall. The mall had a canal and a whirlpool thing in the ceiling. It was hardcore.

Soon, Bunbun and Prem messaged me and said they were already in front of Bacha Coffee.

I could see them from where I was, but because of the canal, I couldn’t actually walk right over. I had to walk up some stairs and cross over a bridge and then down some stairs. They were looking around, but I could see them from above. I sound so creepy, right? Haha.

Anyway, I had already known what they looked like because I have their social media, so there weren’t any surprises there. I exclaimed, “Bunbun! Prem!” And they saw me!

They both gave me super nice hugs, and they were the best greeting hugs I had in Singapore. I give them a 5 star rating!!

We were actually a little dressed up since we were going to have lunch at a fancy restaurant (I forget the name lol. It’s up on a very high building). There was a business casual dress code. Continue reading “Day 4: Sept 12th”

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My San Diego and LA trip: Chaotic airport, meeting my colleagues + catching covid

Several months ago, my boss decided that it would be a great idea to have a staff meet-up with the five of us in LA after the San Diego Comic Con. My boss has been residing in China for the past couple of years, and I had never actually met him or my colleagues since we all work remote.

We had a booth in San Diego, and my boss had flown J over from the UK to help out. The event was supposed to last until the 24th, and then we’d meet in LA from July 25th to the 31st.

I was extremely excited and slightly anxious since I hadn’t travelled in over five years. However, my boss was covering for the flight and the accommodation in LA, so I was like, “Hell yeah!”

I decided to head to San Diego to meet some of my discord friends prior to LA. On the morning of July 23rd, I arrived at the Toronto Pearson Airport four hours before my flight because I had received multiple notices that the lines were terribly long, and I should arrive more than three hours in advance.

I had already checked in online, and I was also NOT checking in a bag, so I didn’t think it could be that bad. But when I had arrived at the airport, the situation was insane. There were at least thousands of people waiting to enter Gate F at 4am, where we needed to go through security check.

I got into the line immediately, but after ten to fifteen minutes, I was told to show my ticket and was told that I was TOO EARLY, and I had to go all the way back to 15 (I don’t know what they’re called, but it’s the number 15) and wait until it was later before I could get in line. The airport representative said that I should not be in the line unless my flight was 6:30am or earlier (at the time, it was 4:15am or so, and my flight was at 8am).

Chaotic airport situation

I mentioned about the email, but was basically told, “Too bad.”

Why are they telling me to come so early if they’re not even going to let me get in line? UGHHHHH.

Anyway, by around 5am, I was finally able to get in line without getting sent back for the 4th time. After an hour of waiting, I thought I was nearly there, but it turned out that there were even MORE lines inside Gate F. And the security check was so hardcore. I needed to use 6 boxes: one for my laptop and electronics, one for my jacket, one for my backpack, one for my carry-on, one for my shoes, and one for liquids.

After passing by security, I foolishly thought I would be close. But nope. There were still several more hundred people ahead of me to go through customs.

In the end, it took me over THREE hours to actually get to my gate. And my flight was also delayed for another TWO hours. Holy moly. What a pain.

Anyhow, I arrived to LA and knew I had to go to the Union Station and then take the train to San Diego. My friend, T, was going to pick me up from the station.

However, I had never been to LA before, and even though I knew I had to take the Flyaway bus, I had no idea where it was.

So, I asked a random airport staff, and she told me to exit and then find the green pole. But when I got to the green pole, it turned out it was not the right spot. I had to ask another person, and they told me to go to the blue pole. Luckily, it was a minute away, so it wasn’t too bad.

When I got to the blue pole, I was going to scan the QR code to buy the ticket. I hadn’t booked in advance since I figured my flight was going to be delayed, so I decided it was safer to buy the ticket when I got there.

But the bus suddenly arrived, and the driver was telling everyone to hop on!! I exclaimed, “But I haven’t bought my ticket yet!” He said it was fine. I thought it was extremely strange since I thought it was only normal if people paid prior to getting on. Otherwise, how would you get them to pay afterwards?

Anyhow, the ride was approximately 30 minutes. The moment we arrived, there was a lady that was waiting around to scan tickets. It turned out that they had a booth there where people could pay AFTERWARDS. Interesting.

The ticket booth at LAX station

The ride was around $9.75usd. I think it was pretty good since it would’ve been far more expensive if I had taken an Uber. (Note: It looks quite ghetto though.)

I was now in the Union Station of Los Angeles. And oh dear, it smelled like urine everywhere. Also, there were a lot of homeless people walking around. I was lining up for a subway sandwich, and I almost fainted from the scent despite having a mask on.

There were also a lot of police or security everywhere. It did make me feel a bit fearful, but I was also busy being stressed since I needed to buy a ticket to San Diego.

I found the booth and asked, and it turned out it was only $36 to get from LA Union Station to the stop I needed to get off. Not bad! The ride was approximately 2-2.5 hr.

I didn’t have enough time to get a drink though, since the ticket lady told me the train was departing in three minutes, and I would have had to wait THREE HOURS for the next one if I had missed it.

So, I ran like the wind and caught the train just in time. It was actually quite weird for me since I had never actually taken a train to go somewhere far before. Everyone had their own food on their laps and were just on their phones or tablets or whatever.

The lady next to me got off earlier than me, and so I took her spot and charged my phone. I notified T that I would be arriving soon, and she told me where to wait for her.

It wasn’t difficult to find T, and she picked me up without issues! I was actually quite excited. I had known T since 2015?? Back then, a bunch of us would go on discord to chat and sing karaoke. T has an extremely low and sexy voice. LOLOL. (It’s true though). Anyhow, we stayed in touch throughout the years, and even though we haven’t talked all that much in recent years, we still have a pretty good relationship. She is also a fellow translator, but we have different sites. If you’re confused, just imagine Asian youtubers meeting up with other creators in person. Continue reading “My San Diego and LA trip: Chaotic airport, meeting my colleagues + catching covid”

Touching quotes from Tuesdays with Morrie

I had wanted to write about this book for a very long time, but the last time I read it was around 15 years ago. Time really flies.

I recalled feeling very touched and inspired after reading this, and bought ten copies on a whim to gift to people. (At the time, it was only $9.99. Now, the prices have more than doubled. *sniff* Inflation sucks!)

Anyhow, today, I finally finished rereading the book. Now that it’s fresh on my mind, I’ve written down a few quotes I personally found very touching from the story.

Tuesdays with Morrie is a real-life story about an old man dying from ALS. Morrie shares his life lessons with his student, Mitch, who is the author of this book. It’s a very genuine story that really makes you ponder on life. Here are a few quotes from the novel that evoked a lot of emotions in me:

 

“Well, Ted, one day soon, someone’s gonna have to wipe my ass.”

Mitch was very accepting of his condition and knew he was dying. But this was one thing he dreaded the most. Because when you need someone to wipe your ass, you no longer have the ability to take care of yourself. It is such a sad realization. Society also makes us feel very ashamed.

Despite so, Morrie was grateful he had the time and mental state to say goodbye to those he loved.

 

“I traded a lot of dreams for a bigger paycheck, and I never even realized I was doing it.”

This is also so sad. I think most of us would choose a bigger paycheck over our dreams. Sometimes, we just need that stability in order to survive or maintain our quality of life. It’s really hard to find a balance.

I just hope that we can still dream a bit, and chase some of our passions even if it doesn’t pay.

 

“Everyone knows they’re going to die, but no one believes it. If we did, we would do things differently.”

Death seems to be something that’s so far away. For those of us who are in our 20s or 30s, we probably think we still have several decades left; perhaps working another thirty years or so before even thinking of retirement. But who knows when life will end?

I don’t want to regret, so I’m going to do the things I want to do now before it’s too late.

 

“This is part of what a family is about, not just love, but letting others know there’s someone who is watching out for them. It’s what I missed so much when my mother died –what I call your ‘spiritual security’ –knowing that your family will be there watching out for you. Nothing else will give you that. Not money. Not fame.”

Knowing that there’s someone watching out for me is very comforting. I’m really lucky both my parents are still around. Although the generation/cultural gap makes it very tough sometimes, I am grateful for everything they’ve done for me.

I’m learning to cherish and forgive. Continue reading “Touching quotes from Tuesdays with Morrie”

Beware of Online Love + Crypto Scam. Personal experience included!

I was going to write this post several months ago, but I got lazy. But this issue happens too often, so I believe that it’s important for me to write a post about it to warn you all.

Nowadays, the younger generation spends most of their time online and on the phone. It isn’t uncommon for people to have various apps to stay in touch with friends, family, and even to meet strangers/potential love interests.

However, because you may be exposing yourself to the “world”, you really need to be careful. Sometimes, you’re not even actively searching, but they will find you.

For example, I received a random text from this dude who messaged me on Whatsapp a few months ago.

Translation:

Guy: Hi, Gwen. Nice to meet you. Auntie Wang gave me your phone number.

Me: Hi. My name is Grace. Who is Auntie Wang?

Guy: Auntie Wang said she already told you about me. Aren’t you Gwen? I have already messed up once. *angry face*

Me: You found the wrong person. I don’t know any Auntie Wang.

Guy: Forget it. I won’t keep searching. I’ll tell Auntie Wang I’ve found you. Nice to meet you, Grace. My name is Louis. Oh wait, you know Chinese?

This guy is clearly a scammer. First of all, I don’t know any Auntie Wang. And let’s say this “Auntie Wang” did exist, why the heck would she introduce me to someone that doesn’t even LIVE in Toronto? The phone number was from the U.S. And this person sounded surprised I know Chinese. Does he think I’m stupid? He is getting “introduced” to someone without knowing that person actually knows Chinese, but he messages me in Chinese?

Omg. I got so mad that I blocked him after a few more back and forth. I wanted to know how he would try to scam me, but it’s not worth my time.

And it’s also quite obvious he stole the picture of a random handsome “western” looking guy and is pretending to be him. I don’t know how he got my phone number, but I know of a few people who’ve also received messages from random strangers on Wechat and Whatsapp. My guy friend got a message from someone who claims she’s from Hong Kong. He told her she got the wrong person, but she kept talking and started talking about investing and etc. BEWARE. Continue reading “Beware of Online Love + Crypto Scam. Personal experience included!”

Topics: Simu Liu, racist girl, and Minari

Hey guys!

I’m back with another blog post! I’m really on a roll these days, aren’t I? 😛 (Just kidding).

Recently, I went on another podcast! It’s called Asian Movie Club, and you can find it on spotify and other podcast platforms.

Asian Movie Club is a podcast that is hosted by my friends Kyle and Robin. They talk about film, music, pop culture and more.

They have just recently begun so I’m featured in episode 2! Please do give it a listen. It is quite mind-boggling.

We talked about Simu Liu deleting an old tweet of him calling out Mark Wahlberg on his racist assault towards two Vietnamese men back when he was 16.

Simu and Wahlberg are going to be co-stars on an upcoming film. Naturally, it made sense for him to remove it. Otherwise, wouldn’t it be super awkward if fans/haters bring it up? (They still brought it up anyway, but that’s beside the point)

Do you think it was wrong of Simu to have removed the tweet? What would you have done if you were his situation?

We also discussed about people being subconsciously racist. There was an incident where a girl had accidentally left her phone inside an Uber, but had assumed it was stolen. She targeted a black teenager who happened to be around her vicinity and accused him of stealing her phone. Continue reading “Topics: Simu Liu, racist girl, and Minari”

What Kind of Asian Are You? Podcast. Featuring Me!

Hey readers!

I’m back with another post! This time, I’m featured in my friend Kyle’s podcast!

WHAT KIND OF ASIAN ARE YOU? PODCAST is a podcast featuring conversations with Diaspora Asians (third culture kids) about their life, stories and experiences.

Through conversations, Kyle looks to explore Diaspora Asians’ views on culture, identity, family, and more. His inspiration for the podcast comes from his observation of the lack of representation of Diaspora Asians in the media and his desire to help highlight, amplify, and validate Asian voices worldwide.

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In the podcast, I talk about my conflicting experience growing up with Chinese values as well as western values. I also talk about my childhood, my parents, my autoimmune disorder, my blogging journey, as well as how I got into the translation community.

Last but not least, I talk about my struggles and my purpose. Continue reading “What Kind of Asian Are You? Podcast. Featuring Me!”

My mini autobiography

Several days ago, I turned 32 and I feel like it’s time for another reflective post.

I have the tendency to think a lot; about my past, present and future. I think about my past mistakes, the choices I’ve made, and what I look forward to. I think about my dreams, goals, and purpose.

I think about why I do what I do, and why I am the way I am.

I think about how I can achieve what I want, faster.

I think about how I can make a lasting, positive impact.

I want to do so much.

It may sound crazy, but I want to be a legacy.

You may ask, how? By doing what?

I think, by using my words to impact others.

I want you to feel better, happier, more empowered after reading my blog posts and translations.

I want to share my experience and advice, and you to benefit from it. Knowing that I have the power to change someone’s behaviour makes me feel good.

I’ve come to realize that I need to live a life with meaning to be happy. For the first 23 years of my life, I basically followed exactly what my father had wanted me to do.

As a child, my only goal was to get good grades so I could get into university and then get a good, stable job.

I needed good grades. I was a “good” student, but at the same time, I wasn’t. I mean, I showed up to class and did all my homework. I tried to study and do well, but half the time I was daydreaming because it was so damn boring.

I tried to retain as much as I could, but I’m just not very academic. At least, it’s not easy for me. I have a slow brain, so it takes me a long time to understand something.

I had friends who could seamlessly get 90s without trying, while here I was, working hard and struggling to get an 80. So sad.

I knew school wasn’t really for me, but I still tried. In fact, I even got an award for perfect attendance. LOL, so lame. Who gives an award for that??? Continue reading “My mini autobiography”

The harsh reality of being a content creator

We are born in a generation where as long as you have the internet and a device (phone, laptop, video camera, etc), you can upload things online and share with the world. Depending on the person, there may be conflicting views on this. But we can’t deny the fact that the internet has created a lot more opportunities for people overall.

Today, I would like to blog about the harsh reality of being a content creator. Content creators are basically people who create content usually targeted towards a specific group of audience for their entertainment purposes.

Back then, most content creators started off as hobbyists. For example, when Youtube first became popular, most people were just posting random clips online. People never really thought of making money from it.

Eventually, people realized it was possible to make a living off Youtube. As long as you develop a huge following with lots of views, you can earn ad revenue!

So, people then started to make all sort of content in hopes of getting viral.

Maybe if they get popular enough, they could quit their jobs and pursue their dream career and do what they actually love!

While it sounds simple enough, reality is far from it.

In order to quit your job to pursue this type career, you must earn enough from your content so that it could replace your income. The problem is, most people do not want to pay for content.

Can you imagine if I charged you to read this? Chances are, you would just not read it. LOL

With so many other options, why would we pay for something that we could get free elsewhere?

Thus, if your dream is to become a content creator, you’re going to suffer A LOT. You’ll constantly be trying to get followers. Even if you have great and free content, you’re competing against countless of others and there is no guarantee people will watch/read/consume/follow. Continue reading “The harsh reality of being a content creator”

My 6 dates with 6 guys on Hinge

Me posing with treesI debated a long time whether I should write this post. This is a continuation of my previous post, “My dating experience on Hinge.” If you haven’t read that yet, you should read it first before proceeding.

Everything I’m about to say were my honest thoughts –what I was thinking at the time, and how I felt about it.

Disclaimer: While I was chatting with all of them simultaneously, by no means was I trying to “play around” with other people’s emotions. I genuinely spent a lot of time trying to get to know each of them.

To keep them anonymous, I’m going to call the guys: A, B, C, D, E, and F. They’re in the order that I met them in.

I started talking to A because he read my blog. Because of his comment to one of my prompts, I knew he took the time to read my post. At the time, my latest post was 30,000 days, and it was about how most people only have 30,000 days on Earth.

Personally, if a guy actually takes the time to read my blog, I’m almost guaranteed to respond and chat. I really like how they would take the time to try to get to know me beyond the physical aspect.

Anyhow, I soon found out A was intense. This guy likes doing so many physical activities. At the time, he was training daily for a marathon.

Since we spoke in September of last year, my memory is a bit rusty. I think he was preparing for a 22km run in Montreal.

He mentioned about going for runs together, and I was like.. uh.. ok you run the first 20km and I’ll join for the last 2km. AHAHAHAHA.

A gave me the impression that he was really nice, independent, more of a listener type, hardcore, and kind of quiet.

I found out he was from Mauritius and he actually spoke French very fluently. Now, I’m someone who really likes languages and French is a very sexy language. *sigh* The French accent is so hot.

As a Canadian, French is actually one of our national languages. Sadly, despite the mandatory classes from Grade 4-9, I can’t communicate in French at all. I only know very basic vocabulary. I can’t even ask a question properly because I don’t know how the grammar structure work. *cries*

Ok, back on topic.

I really admire people who can do things that I can’t do. During our date, I tried to get A to teach me some French and roll the R (but I still fail). I had a list, and he helped me, but I can’t remember jack shit (please excuse my language). I feel like I really need someone to speak to me or be exposed in that environment in order to learn. Sigh.

A and I lived very very far apart from each other. So we decided to meet halfway, and met at Yonge and Finch.

We met at a café and I thought it was kind of cute how he had a hat on. I think he was trying to hide his hair or something (either it was too long or too messy?).

He was actually a lot more quiet in person than online. I wasn’t sure whether he was shy or he just didn’t want to talk too much.

But as a person who talks a lot, it didn’t bother me. AHAHAHAHA. We had a nice conversation and soon, it was dinner time.

I didn’t want to force A to eat with me, so I gave him the opportunity to leave. I said, “Do you need to go home? I know you have to wake up early for work.” (I always give guys a chance to leave if they want to. I know some people just stay for the sake of being polite.)

A had his chance to leave but decided to stay out, so we went somewhere nearby and had Korean food.

A’s family is in Montreal, and he mentioned driving there often to see them. It was pretty crazy because eventually I found out we have a mutual friend/acquaintance. Apparently, someone I know (a friend of a friend) was his neighbour back in Mauritius! What a small world.

Omg, this is getting too long. I’m not going to go into too many details. Anyway, we had a nice dinner. By the time we left, it was already 10 something. We met up around 6?? I am assuming he enjoyed it, or he would’ve left sooner than later. He had to wake up at 6:30am for work on a daily basis. *cries for A* Continue reading “My 6 dates with 6 guys on Hinge”

My dating experience on Hinge

Disclaimer: This is from my own personal experience and may or may not reflect the experiences of others. I started using Hinge from August 30th until around mid Oct of 2019.

PROFILE

You can sign up an account using only your phone number. Hinge allows you to choose/upload 6 photos of yourself. It took me a while to choose 6 haha. My friends next to me were so impatient.

  • I picked a selfie with my friend (but I covered her face in case it was confusing).
  • I had another full body image of myself so people would have an idea of my physical size (This was the most popular photo. I got the most hearts from this one).
  • There was a photo of me sitting with a bubble tea in my hand
  • I had another picture of myself as Baby Grace from the snapchat filter
  • There was also another photo of me and my brother in the museum of illusions. I was posing in awesome manner (upside down) while he was just standing straight and being boring
  • I also included another group photo of me and my friends failing in an escape room T_T (I WANNA ESCAPE YOOOOO)

I had to choose 3 prompts for Hinge. Prompts are used as conversation starters. The guy/girl may comment on your prompt. However, they cannot have a conversation with you unless you accept/allow them to.

Here were my prompts:

I’m the type of texter who
loves puns. I love English puns, Chinese puns. As long as they are punny, go for it. XD

Together we can…
compose a song together! I loveeee music!!!

The secret to getting to know me is
read my blog. liveandlearn88.com

I like my prompts because I think it makes me more unique and it reflects me well. I didn’t want to be the typical “I like to eat, travel, and sleep” LOL (no offense if that’s what you like).

If you are confused and needs some help using Hinge, visit https://hingeapp.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/categories/360001659533-Getting-Started for more information

 

MY EXPERIENCE

I’m told that guys on Hinge get to swipe approximately 5 people a day if they are a regular user. (I’m not sure if it’s the same for females).

Personally, I didn’t actually click like on anyone’s profiles. I only commented on one profile because I wanted to know what a dank meme was.

I didn’t actually have to initiate anything with anyone because I was getting likes every few minutes on the first day I created my profile. At first, I was open to all. But I had to make it super difficult because there were too many people and some guys were so old, they could be my dad. For instance, one guy was 64… uh…

As a result, I made it much harder for people to discover me since I put a deal breaker on age, no one with kids already, no drugs, and etc.

Hinge made me a preferred member for a month because they wanted to encourage me to use the app more. When you’re a preferred member, you can see everyone that has liked/commented on your profile. Otherwise, you would have to accept or reject one at a time before you can view the next person’s profile.

As a preferred member, you also get preferred preferences and you can customize it even more to fit what you are looking for.

 

LUCK

The reason why I have to filter so hard is because there are just too many people. I cannot talk to everyone. Basically, I accepted those who read my blog LOL (I can tell based on their comments) and if they are into music.

There are definitely a lot of guys with potential, but I have limited time and energy. I can only focus on so many before I lose track of the names and get them all mixed up. I cannot talk to a hundred people. I know that a hundred likes doesn’t necessarily mean a hundred options. However, if I accepted and they messaged me, I didn’t want to ignore them. Hence, I just let them pile up.

So as you can tell, online dating has a lot to do with luck too.

  1. Both you and your match have to be using it during the same time span.
  2. The age range is also a huge factor. I had just turned 31 around two weeks after I created my profile. One of my matches told me his cut off was 30. So technically, if I had started using the app in the middle of Sept, I wouldn’t even have popped up in his feed and we wouldn’t have spoken.
  3. Aside from one other person, I only spoke with those who have messaged me within the first 2-3 days that I was using the app. So it’s almost like first come first serve (Sorry if that sounds bad).

  Continue reading “My dating experience on Hinge”