Day 6: Sept 14th

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.

The National Museum of Singapore

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.  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. Continue reading “Day 6: Sept 14th”