25. Homesick?

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I’ve been struck by a sudden bout of homesickness. Or maybe it’s just depression in general. All I know is that I want to curl up in one corner and either drink myself drunk or well, do nothing and wait for it to pass. It doesn’t help that it’s raining today and that I have no classes to occupy myself with.

You’d think that I’ve travelled enough to be used to this kind of thing, but I think this case is more of a double whammy. Once in a while the blues will hit you, except that I’m usually back at home in Singapore when it happens so it’s not that bad. Now I’m in a foreign country with few friends and even fewer comforts. Okay at least I have purin here.

I remember that the last time I felt homesick was when I was in Kyoto for exchange. It was worse back then I think, back when my hormones where probably severely inbalanced. It hit me hard and fast and before I knew it I was just overwhelmed with a thousand different emotions. It went away as quickly as it came, so I’m hoping the same thing will happen this time.

That aside, I’m proud to say that I’m not regretting the fact that I came to Waseda to study Japanese. I’m finally studying what I want to study. Many people might think that it’s a waste of time and money, but I think that I’m finally taking a small step in the direction of what I want my life to be like in the future.

24. 広島で研修の感想

なんか久しぶりブログしようと思って、せっかく日本にいるので、日本語で書いてみました。(笑)

で、今は広島信用金庫で研修を受けることになりました。まぁ研修と言っても、企業体験のほうが近いかな。あまり仕事とかはしませんけど、企業営業について大変勉強になりました。工業現場を拝見させていただき、牧場までも連れていただきました。毎日必ず「お早うございます」と言ったり、帰るときも「お先に失礼致します」というお声かけについても勉強になりました。ひろしんの皆さまは本当に優しくて、感動いたしました。やっぱり日本が大好きですね。

でも皆様は私のことはすごいと言われると、自分の不足をもっとはっきり見えることになりました。シンガポール国立大学もそんなに優秀な大学でもない。日本語をもっと勉強しないといけません。もっともっと上手になりたいです。もし自分は現在のレベルに満ち足りしたら、これからも成長できません。

まぁ取り合えず今までの感想ですけど、研修は来週の金曜日までなので、また他の感想もあるかもしれません。これからも頑張ります!

23. Hell week

Week 12 in NUS is usually called Hell Week because it’s during this week where all your modules have assignment or essay deadlines, presentations, examinations and other CA components which consist of a large percentage of your final grade. In my case, I also had Dance Uncensored 2013 tech runs, full dress rehearsals and the actual show during this week as well. Which wasn’t that unmanageable considering that I’m taking only 3 modules this semester (though the workload is about the same as 5. Never ever take 2 Japanese modules in the same semester if you want to survive, especially not with Japanese 6 under Chiba Sensei as one of them).

So everything was fine and dandy until my unfortunate accident on stage during Wednesday’s performance. It was halfway through the performance after the first song and during the blackout, when my mouth collided into someone else’s head with enough force to cut my upper lip quite badly. Tiny bit of flesh was hanging out and was bleeding into my own mouth for a while. >_< Thankfully after my item I had a nursing friend help me nurse the wound (they didn't even have a first aid kid on hand backstage wtf), so it's healing nicely right now. I just hope it won't scar that badly. /:

Obviously I panicked, because I had my Japanese oral AND a presentation on Thursday before the last DU show, and I wasn't sure at that point in time whether I could speak properly or not. I couldn't really enunciate properly because I couldn't close my lips together as that meant the wound would come into contact with my lower lips. And I have to be honest, but I was thinking of using my wound as an excuse to not do oral because I was quite nervous about it.

In the end, I'm happy to say that I did both my oral and my presentation. My enunciation was a bit strange, but I'm glad that I didn't run away from my responsibilites. Oral turned out to be quite fun, Chiba sensei even said that we were 一番楽しそうなグループ (the group which looked like we were enjoying ourselves the most). My oral group members were really nice! We practiced quite a bit before and decided to help each other out for the discussion and debate. As for the presentation, we had distingushed guests from Kikkoman, CLAIR Singapore and Mitsubishi Shoji so I was nervous and embarrased for presenting in front of them when I wasn't in my top form, but I am glad that I made the last minute decision to do so. Am really grateful for all my group members who were willing to cover for me too, just in case.

After both, I went back to perform for DU. It really was my last chance in NUS to dance and I couldn't just let it go. Most of the people I knew already came to watch me on Wednesday, but for me the reason is simple, I have always danced because I wanted to dance, not because I want others to watch me dance. Getting people to watch me is just a bonus. To me, there is no meaning if you dance for other people but you don't feel anything for dance itself. If that's the case, it will turn into a meaningless form of entertainment. This doesn't mean that I'm not grateful to those who have supported my all these years for my dance performances; I truly am. But it is because I dance to express myself, I dance because I like moving to the music, I dance because I love to dance, that I am proud that my family and friends can come to watch me do something I love. And that is when I dance for them as well.

But dance never needs to be complicated. People should stop thinking too much, and just dance.

And so hell week is over. It wasn't that bad this time. One more final week to go, before it really is goodbye.

22. Uma Uma Ramen うま馬ラーメン

うま馬ラーメンはうまっ! (Uma uma ramen wa uma!)

Okay I’m sorry for the oyaji gag. Couldn’t resist.

Anyway Gwen and I headed down to try Uma Uma Ramen at Forum the shopping mall today, because her friend said it was better than Menya, and Menya is my current favourite ramen in Singapore. And… we didn’t choose the original ramen but kind of shared the Tonkotsu Ramen ($14++) and Mazesoba ($14++) between the both of us.

2013-04-05 14.24.34Gweena♥ With mazesoba in front of her and ramen in front of me.

2013-04-05 23.19.08Can we eat yet? D:

Ok so we spent like 5 whole minutes trying to take the perfect ramen photo and the cooks and waiters were kind of really amused at us. ^^ When I talked to one of them after the meal he even asked me “写真取りました?” (Did you manage to take your photo?)

Moving on to the ramen review! Well, to be honest I still prefered Menya Musashi’s ramen, but I think that’s because it’s a very different style of ramen altogether? The Tonkotsu ramen had thin noodles, and the broth was light. For Menya’s ramen, one sip of the broth would send me into bliss, but I can never finish eating the bowl of ramen because it’s too 腻(ni). For Uma Uma’s Tonkotsu ramen I could have finished the whole bowl (but I had a very heavy breakfast so I didn’t >_<). You can tell that the broth had a lot of effort in it if you don’t stop at the first sip. Also, the Mazesoba was really interesting. The soba noodles reminded me of the Chinese yellow noodles somehow, but the overall texture (with the poached egg omg♥) matched really well together.

What I like about Uma Uma’s ramen is that the flavour of the both dishes were more subtle. As you continue with each bite the flavour grows on you. Which was why when I suddenly switched from the soba to the ramen and back to the soba the taste somehow changed. I wouldn’t recommend you to share if you ever go there but just concentrate on your own bowl and let the flavour set in. I can also see why Singaporeans might not like this kind of Hakata style ramen as compared to the thicker and stronger flavours of Menya Musashi and Marutama. It all boils down to preference. If you prefer a lighter broth you should definitely try Uma Uma ramen. I’m planning to head back soon to try the signature dish because I liked the atmosphere of the restaurant! They were all very friendly people :3

21. Kent Ridge Hall Dance Production 2013

So I went to watch KR DP today! And here’s my review of it hahaha.
Disclaimer: I’m speaking from the perspective of someone who has dance/choreography experience so I might be slightly more nitpicky then the layman >_>

Overall I liked it quite a bit! It was my first time watching a dance production in full; Dance Uncensored (DU) doesn’t really count and for Eusoff DP I was dancing in it so it doesn’t count as well. What I really liked was how all the items came together with a central theme and storyline. I also liked how some items overlapped with each other, which you would not see in a performance like DU. I also unexpectedly saw familiar faces from Blast! days hahaha.

Choreography-wise, the contemp items were really strong. Dancers’ lines were pretty, stunts were awesome to look at, and emotions were really there. Did I mention that lines were really pretty? *___* The only downside was that I personally felt that there were too many contemp items in the second half. In fact I only seemed to recall that the only hiphop item was the red berets/army one? Or the dubstep one. Oh dear memory is failing me ahem. Doesn’t help that the booklet doesn’t provide information on specific items and their choreos aha. While the themes for the items in the second half were kind of different, like sadness, frustration, suicidal thoughts, love and such, I felt that it was a little bit too similar? Was hoping for a change of pace midway. But skills and techniques definitely present. KR really has strong contemp dancers. \o/

Hip hop items were varied. Some were really good, and I really liked the energy from most of the dancers that were blocked in front. Keep seeing the same faces in hip hop items though haha. And what I liked was that even though some dancers weren’t really as good as their counterparts, they had the attitude and energy. Of course there were a few black sheep, which I was quite quick to spot (sorry being nitpicky again), but really good job for most of the dancers. Your technique and skills will definitely wow people off-stage, but in a performance your emotions and energy matter just as much, if not more.

Sadly the crowd today was mad up mostly of families and non-hiphop dancers(I assume), because there was very little (okay none at all) cheering which you would normally hear when hip hop dancers do their thing. I felt like an idiot cheering(quietly) and clapping(silently) to myself when I was watching the hip hop items >_< They needed so much more love and appreciation SIGH. Unfortunately I'm too shy to be the only one cheering so sorry people ;_;

The one thing I did feel after watching KR DP is the urge to DANCE. This always happens after I watch a good dance show/production. It always inspires me to work harder and dance better. Can't wait for dance prac tomorrow! *INSERTS SHAMELESS PLUG* I will be dancing in the combined hall dance item in DU on 10th and 11th April at NUS UCC so if you’re free please come early(6pm or something) to queue up and get free tickets to watch me thank you~~ It’s really my last dance performance in NUS and I hope to make it a good one. (:

20. This week.

I’ve been averaging around 4 hours of sleep per night since Monday, and somehow this feels like one of the longest weeks I’ve ever experienced. Quite a few things happened this past week.

Firstly, fefe actually approached me on her own! Okay fefe is actually one of the cats which I catsitted on sunday and she’s usually very shy with strangers. She will hiss if you go near and will usually just hide straight underneath the coffee table if she doesn’t know you. But on sunday when I was about to leave she came up to me out of her own accord and sniffed me! One of my prouder moments in this job heh. And Belle (another cat) kept looking at me with her ginormous dilated pupils and I just melted there and then. This is why I love being a cat-sitter (:

Secondly, well I wouldn’t really call this a good thing per se, but I’ve finally met someone with the same name as me! I guess my name is definitely more unique than most other names out there, but it’s not one of it’s kind. The funny thing is that in Singapore, my name can belong to both a guy or a girl. And it’s really weird hearing your name being called when it’s someone else they want.

Thirdly, and I am still mindblown about this, is that I found out that my classmate is my neighbour in woodlands! He actually stays in the same block as me and I’ve never noticed till a few days ago. I guess this just goes to show how limited interaction is among neighbours and I. It’s kinda sad.

Japan trip planning has been proceeding along very nicely. I just need to settle accomodation for the Kansai area and arrange to meet up with people. I really can’t wait to go back to Japan! Just breathing Japan air would be enough. And I FINALLY GET TO GO TO FUJIQ wheeeeee~~~ I will ride all the rollercoasters there :3 I mean just look at this! Doesn’t it look soooooo exciting!!! めっちゃめっちゃ期待するわー!

19. Swedish House Mafia One Last Tour in Singapore

It was so amazing.

To be honest, it was way beyond my expectations. Having seen videos of SHM performing in Europe, I wondered if the energy level in Singapore could ever match up with that of Europe. And because it was held in the Singapore Indoor Stadium, we had designated seats. However when SHM came on at 9:15, almost everybody stood up and jostled to the front railings. It just wasn’t possible to sit through the concert. The tracklist was amazing, and the crowd was awesome. I danced and bounced and jumped and screamed and sang and just absorbed everything throughout the whole 2 hours.

I think the best part of the night was when Don’t You Worry Child, where everyone started singing and I was just so touched. Obviously I was happily singing along as well, but it was was really a feeling of 感動 (kandou). You really had to be present to understand the magic of it all. That one point in time where everybody was united. Feeling the music course through your veins.

Okay I think I’m starting to sound a bit overdramatic. I’ll let this fancam (not taken by me) speak for itself.

17 January 2013. A night to remember. I hope house music continues to flourish ♥

We came. We raved. We loved. #onelasttour

18. Shopping in Bangkok

So Gweena and I went to Bangkok for a short getaway, and I ended up buying a lot of stuff >_< Most of the stuff I got was from Platinum Shopping Mall! Went to MBK too but the stuff there was so expensive! My recommendation for shopping (clothes) would be just Platinum and the weekend Chatuchak Market. You can find a lot of cheap buys for fashionable clohes.

Also, there are several brands which I particularly liked. First would be Love Cholic, which is a shop tucked in a corner somewhere on the 4th or 5th floor of Platinum Shopping Mall Zone 1/2. The shopkeeper owns the shop and she designs all her clothes! Prices range at around 200 to 350 baht, depending on the type of clothes. Doesn't hurt that the shopkeeper is a nice person as well.

Next is 9 to five, a shoes brand found in the 4th floor of Platinum Shopping Mall Zone 3. Their flats are soooooo cute. As you can see below, I got a pair of red and white striped flats as well as flats in a lovely blue colour. Gwen got wedges from them too!

Last is a brand called Sheep. I saw at least 2 stalls in Chatuchak selling the same brand, but prices are different so try to see if you can find the cheaper shop! The one I bought from sold dresses at 200 baht each, and if I bought 2 it'll be 380 baht. I liked the style of the dresses there, and would have bought more if not for the fact that I was close to broke already.

So, moving on to what I got:
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Clockwise from top left
1. Black and brown dress. Platinum Shopping Mall. 10 SGD.
2. Grey dress. Chatuchak Market. Sheep. 8.3 SGD.
3. Floral dress. Platinum Shopping Mall. 10 SGD.
4. Red striped bag. Platinum Shopping Mall. 6.2 SGD
5. Brown shorts. Siam Paragon Uniqlo. 7.75 SGD
6. Coral shorts. Chatuchak Market. 8.3 SGD
7. Denim shorts. Roadside stall. 4.1 SGD
8. USA shorts. Chatuchak Market. 4.1 SGD
9. Mustard skirt. Platinum Shopping Mall. Love Cholic. 8.3 SGD
10. Black, brown heels. Platinum Shopping Mall. 5 SGD each
11. Red, blue flats. Platinum Shopping Mall. 9 to five. 10 SGD each
12. Star top, cat top. Roadside stall. 3 SGD each
13. Grey top. Platinum Shopping Mall. Love Cholic. 8.3 SGD

Of course, there are also many many many good shops and brands which I’ve either forgotten or did not manage to find. But buying clothes there is very practical for me because it’s not only cheap, looks good, but is also perfect for Singapore’s weather haha.

17. ミュージカル・テニスの王子様

最初読んだ漫画は、テニスの王子様。

最初見たアニメも、テニスの王子様。

最初見たミュージカルも、テニスの王子様。

だから今までもテニミュのことも忘れられません。

やっぱり初代が一番!ざ・レギュラーは私が一番好きなテニミュの歌です。聞いたら鳥肌が立ちます。

柳浩太郎、Kimeru、遠藤雄弥、滝川英治、永山たかし、青山草太、森山栄治、郷本直也、阿部よしつぐ、北村 栄基。皆最高ーー!

テニプリのことを見て、いろんな記憶が思い出しました。これは私の青春でした。v(^_^v)♪(笑)

16. Rurouni Kenshin Movie Review 「るろうに剣心」

It. Was. So. Good.

WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD

I actually only read the rurouni kenshin manga after news of the live action movie came out in Japan. I’ve heard of the manga from friends before, but somehow never got around to reading it until now. I should have read it sooner! The manga’s really good. Plot-wise it was thrilling enough, and the main female lead Kaoru wasn’t a demure damsel in distress that needed saving from Kenshin every time. Which I really appreciate because I hate whiny female leads that always cause trouble for everyone around them. Ahem.

Back to the movie, there were minor changes to the plot, probably because I think the director didn’t want to include so many characters. Poor Aoshi got taken out ): But it followed the manga storyline pretty accurately. I think that the cast was really strong. Satou Takeru really did a super good job of playing Kenshin, both his cheerful ‘oro’ rurouni side and his merciless battousai side. And I think he has improved a lot since I last saw him in Mei-chan no Shitsuji. Some of the reviews I heard about Takei Emi was that she wasn’t very good, but I think that she did a good job! (I’m also slightly biased, so sue me.) The problem I think lies with the director which made Kaoru seem like a damsel in distress, being unable to protect her own dojo, instead of Emi’s acting. Other characters like jin’e was well acted out too! I didn’t really like the casting choice for Yahiko though /:

Oh Satou Takeru ♥ Other than his acting skills I think he looks quite a lot like what I’d expect a real life Kenshin to be. *cue fangirl squeal* Okay maybe I was in love with Kenshin and not Satou Takeru himself hahaha. But still. ♥♥♥ Or maybe it’s just that I think the poofy host kind of hair doesn’t suit him at all. It makes him look like a チャラ男. Clean cut or very slightly styled suits him the best heh.

But overall it was a great movie. I would totally watch it again. And again.

伝説の人斬り抜刀斎~!