Log 9: Makan…

22/02/17, SINGAPORE

And the word of the day today is…

MAKAN

For those who are confused, don’t worry it’s not English. Makan is a malay word and also a Singlish term that means ‘eat’.

Now how did I come across this word? After training today, a workmate of mine asked me, “Do you want to go makan?” At first I was seriously confused and it must have been evident on my face because after a few seconds of silence he explained what it was and even used hand gestures. You know, just in case haha

So I guess that’s all for now,

JLove out.

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27 Things…

This is actually a bucket list update. I’m scrapping 34 things and changing it to 27 things, there’s new items although it’s less. Comment suggestions and something interesting I’ve left out (not too expensive!).

  1. Go to the Singapore Zoo
  2. Buy something from Bugis Street
  3. Visit the National Library
  4. Go to Haw Par Villa
  5. Go to Gardens by the Bay
  6. Go to the National Museum
  7. Send a postcard from Singapore
  8. Go to Central Perk Singapore
  9. Visit the National Gallery
  10. Watch a free concert at the Esplanade
  11. Go walking with Singapore Footprints
  12. Go biking at East Coast Park
  13. Visit a Kampong
  14. Buy something from Atom Comics
  15. Visit the Asian Civilization Museum
  16. Volunteer
  17. Go to Chinatown
  18. Visit the island Pulau Ubin
  19. Try chicken rice in 5 different places
  20. Listen to Singaporean Stand up Comedy
  21. Buy a T-Shirt with a Singapore slang
  22. Buy a book about Lee Kuan Yew
  23. Work in Singapore
  24. Visit Sentosa
  25. Take a Photo with the big Merlion
  26. Learn 10 Singaporean slang
  27. Attend a public event in Singapore

Log 8: Haw Par Villa

21/02/17, SINGAPORE

So a couple of days ago I visited the Haw Par Villa.

Haw Par Villa is a (free) place to visit in Singapore. It is filled with statues based on traditional Chinese stories that are focused on teaching traditional Chinese values. For someone like me who didn’t grow up hearing these stories I found the place somewhat weird and wonderful at the same time. But don’t worry, if you’re like me there is a stand in front of each section that gives a brief summary of the Chinese folk legend which was extremely helpful.

Other than Haw Par Villa being cultural, the place and how it started is a story itself. Haw Par Villa was started by the Aw brothers, Aw Boon Haw and Aw Boon Par. If you haven’t figured it out already Haw Par Villa is a combination of both their names (Haw = tiger and Par= leapord). The villa was a gift from Boon Haw to Boon Par as a show of brotherly love. The brothers also have a well known family business. Their father Aw Chu Kin invented Tiger Balm. Tiger Balm is a Chinese ointment used for minor pain or ache relief for muscles and joints. It is commonly used and very popular in Singapore. Haw and Par also have a third brother, the eldest, Aw Boon Leng (which means Dragon) however Haw and Par were the closest. After the death of Aw Chu Kin, the Tiger Balm business was left to Haw and Par who took the business to Singapore and expanded to neighboring countries.

Although Haw Par Villa may not seem as exciting or fun as places such as Universal, the Zoo and Gardens by the Bay; the rich history and the meaning of the place is just too beautiful to dismiss. It’s definitely a place I would recommend tourists to visit when they are in Singapore. Haw Par Villa is more than traditional Chinese stories, the place itself was created by love and is a reminder of the importance of family. In modern society today that is something we often take for granted or forget in the midst of ‘life’.

JLove Out.

(Of course, I took some photos so here’s a bit of a preview for those who haven’t been)

Log 7: Gardens By the Bay

17/02/17, SINGAPORE

So I figured the best way to show my experience of the Gardens by the bay is through some of the photos I took but I’ll give you some basics first. So there are three main attractions at gardens the bay, they are: the Flower Dome, the Cloud Forest and the Skywalk.

The Flower Dome won the Guinness World Record 2015 for the world’s largest glass greenhouse flower dome. The Flower dome changes flowers and design at different periods. So the theme this season is called Dahlia Dreams. This display is on display fro the 20th Jan 2017 till the 19th of Feb 2017. And then they change display which I think is really cool.

Some final thoughts about gardens by the bay is costs! Admission fee is required for all 3 attractions. There is a local and standard rate which means if you’re a local at Singapore you will receive a discount so bring identification (preferably your ic or passport). For tourist the standard rate for the two conservatories (Flower Dome and Cloud Forest) costs $28 and the Skywalk costs $8. Other than that I hope you enjoy the photos 🙂

JLove Out.

Log 6: Home Sick

17/02/17, SINGAPORE

It’s day 25 here in sunny Singapore and to be completely honest it’s been tough.

I mean, it’s been amazing as well and I’m really loving Singapore, the culture and the people; but at the same time I miss home. I miss my family, my friends, my church and basically my entire life back in New Zealand. Although I have extended family over here I’m alone most of the time. It gets quite lonely having meals by yourself and waking up to an empty apartment.

Now I’ll never admit this to my brother but I miss his loud video gaming in the middle of the night. I don’t think I’ll ever complain about that again, at least not in the same way. If that even makes sense.This lonely feeling has actually helped me put certain things into a new perspective.

When I was eating dinner tonight with my Auntie and my cousin, although I was with people a sudden huge wave of loneliness flooded into my heart. It was a terrible feeling and my eyes became watery as I thought about how alone I really am. I began to regret this journey to find me that only a month ago seemed like rainbows and cupcakes but now, seems like the worst decision I had ever made in my entire life.

I’m currently reading She Believes by Debbie Lindell (shout out to her, she’s an amazing person and writer!) and today I read Chapter 11 which titles ‘Treasure in the darkness’. It was really encouraging reading that chapter as it was absolutely relatable to my situation and it gave me strength and hope.

“Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me” Psalms 23:4 NLT

Loneliness sucks but I know for a fact that it is far from the darkest thing I will experience in my life time. Knowing that God will be there in the DARKEST valley gives me so much encouragement for the loneliness I am feeling.

In the darkness the treasures I see are… the people I took for granted back in New Zealand has shown me how I must cherish, really appreciate and be thankful for the people around me at this time. I am far from alone. I have an entire family to get to know. I have a God that loves me unconditionally and is always by my side guiding me and taking me by my hand towards him.

This experience has brought me closer to God and I really hope and pray that He will continue growing me and bringing me closer to Him in this journey.

JLove Out.

 

Log 5: Bugis Street

15/02/17 SINGAPORE, Bugis Street

So today I went to Bugis Street.

Bugis Street is a popular tourist site filled with some pretty interesting merchandise. There’s also quite a selection in terms of souvenirs so if you’re looking for some souvenirs to take home you can definitely check Bugis Street out.

ALSO, I fulfilled one of the items on my bucket list which was to “buy something from Bugis Street.”

 So without further ado meet the new addition to the Jlove house.

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The reason I chose this fluffy bunny thing was simply because it was everywhere. I’m not sure why this is so popular in Bugis Street but I figured it would be The thing to get for my bucket list.

So I guess that’s all for now!

JLove Out.

 

 

 

Log 4: Job

11/02/17, SINGAPORE

Find a job you like and you add five days to every week

So I finally found a job after the long search. In Singapore there are many job opportunities however, finding the right job for you still creates a challenge. One big difference between jobs in New Zealand and jobs in Singapore is the pay. There is no minimum wage in Singapore. After working part time in New Zealand for about two years I’m used to the approximate pay of at least $15 per hour. Here in Singapore I have to get used to getting a pay of around $6-$10. The difference is quite drastic.

I found a job as a waitress at the Swensen branch at Seletar mall. Swensen is a global chain of ice cream restaurants which originally started in California. Apparently Swensen is very popular in Singapore which is great for me because I’m there to get to know the culture and Singapore itself. It will be a great experience interacting with locals and it is also the first time for me working in the food and beverage industry. I start on Tuesday and I’m extremely excited.

If anyone has any tips on being a waiter/waitress please leave a comment, I would love to know!

Jo Love, Out.