Happy National Day Singapore

A big happy 47th National day to all my Singaporean friends and any other Singaporeans who may be celebrating today around the world.  Today marks the day of Singapore’s independence from Britain 47 years ago.  Today is a special day in Singapore and being a public holiday I was lucky to have the day off.  Many Singaporeans would be celebrating this special occasion at Marina Bay Sands watching the National Day Parade with many performances from local police, fire services and army marching.  Also there will be local talents singing and dancing and ending with big fireworks display.  This is my second Singapore National Day and unable to make the National Day Parade to report on the event, however this time am luckier to watch the event at home instead of work.  So am afraid all you readers will have to wait another year for me to report on this special day.  So to all you Singaporeans out there, have a good day celebrating with love ones and do not get to drunk 🙂

TRicky

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Fei Fei’s First Month

A big congratulations to my colleague David and his wife Pei Pei on the arrival of their beautiful daughter Fei Fei.  Last Sunday Fei Fei celebrated her one month.  In Chinese tradition, a ceremony is held to celebrate her first full moon (满月).  This also coincides with the end of the mother’s confinement period, a ceremony where the mother and the baby is formally introduced for the first time.

It is tradition that during the first month after birth, the mother and baby is to stay indoors to re-energies after giving birth.  During this period of confinement, the mother is giving a chance to rest and she is looked after by her mother or mother in-law.  The theory behind this is that after child birth, both the mother is in a ‘cold stage’ due to loss of blood and energy used during labor and this time is used to re-energies the mothers body with the warmth lost.  Different cultures have different duration of confinement period.  A month of resting may sound cool, however there are a number of restrictions.  Again different cultures have there own restrictions however in Chinese confinement the mother is forbidden from:

  • Washing there hair, with some mothers getting around the rule by using dry shampoo.
  • Exposure to cold elements such as cold water and food that are cooling, not a problem in Singapore :o.
  • Heavy chores such as house work.
  • Only allowed to bath with specially prepared warm water that is infused with herbs.

These restrictions are believed to help ensure that your body is not made any cooler and is believed to help prevent health problems later on in life such as arthritis and body pains.  Special meals are also prepared to ensure that the mother gets all the nutrition she needs to fully recover.  So after a month at home and following these rules, you can imagine the big sign of relief on Pei Pei’s face that the confinement period is over.  

During the full moon party, David and Pei Pei invited their close family, friends and colleagues to show off Fei Fei to them.  Like Chinese weddings, it is traditional for people to give hong bao (red packet) to bring good luck to Fei Fei and her parents.  A delicious Chinese buffet was prepared with traditional red eggs.   Throughout Chinese history, red eggs were commonly given during special events from people who could not afford to give money.   Like hong bao’s, red eggs are boiled eggs dyed red and is also a symbol of good luck.  Even though we live in a modern world, it is nice to see that some traditions are not forgotten even if it is not enjoyable.  Fei Fei is really cute with her mother’s looks and I have no doubts that she would grow up into a fine young lady.  I wish Fei Fei and her parents all the luck and happiness for the future.

TRicky

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A Couple of Surprise Birthdays That Will Never Be Forgotten!

It has been a while since my last post, and since then I had celebrated two birthdays, been to Brunei, got engaged, working hard and learning at work and got scolded a few times in CT (Computed Tomography).  For my birthday, I did not really intend to do much.  I did try and plan something but all my friends were busy so instead I stayed at home and watch the ONE Fighting Championship fight night instead.  Joanne kept annoying me all week prior to my birthday asking if I was doing anything or not and I kept making things up to keep her quiet.  However while half way through the fight night, she caught me by surprise and red handed by knocking on my door and showing up to celebrate my birthday.  I was a little angry at first because I told her not to waste money but it did not take long for me to forget that especially after spending so much to come over.  I also told her you were lucky that I was in between fights because I would most likely not have answered the door if it was in a middle of a fight :o.  I was happy to see her and spent my second birthday in Singapore similar to the first one, shopping, eating and getting fat :o.  Even though I did not spend it with my friends but I had received many birthday messages which meant a lot, I thank you all.

However two weeks later for Joanne’s birthday, I decided to give her a bigger surprise.  We went to the famous Empire Hotel in Brunei and sat by the sea watching the sun set.  I wished her happy birthday and decided to give her birthday present.  However before I did, I wanted to set a mood and passed her some headphones.  She had no idea what I got her and was under the impression I had got her an ipad.  She unwrapped the present while listening to Bruno Mars – Marry You.  I wrapped it a few times hoping that she would take the hint from the song and I wanted to see her desperate face unwrapping it.  However a puzzled look on her face told me she still has not figured out what I got her and most likely still believed that I got her an ipad :o.  After watching her rip off all the wrapping paper revealing a box, I was starting to get nervous because I knew what was to come next was going to change both our lives and there were no turning back.  She opened the box to reveal paper heart sitting on top of the another box, and on the paper heart it wrote, ‘Will You Marry Me?‘  Joanne opened the second box and there it was, months of research and weeks of shopping with my good friend Jia Hui, was a diamond ring sitting there looking up at her.  I believed she was gobbed smacked and burst into tears, her face looking at the ring already gave me the answer  I was looking for.  I took her hand and asked her again and she said yes and from then on our facebook status changed :o.  Who would have thought a simply question followed by a short answer would change two people and luckily for me it went the right way.  After that we watched the sunset before shooting off for a birthday meal with her family.  The whole thing was recorded and am thinking if I should upload the video, give me your answer in the comments if you think I should.  After six years of ups and downs, we have finally reach the next chapter of our lives.  My adventure had just got bigger and better so do keep following to see what I get up to next :o.

TRicky

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Night Cycling In Singapore – A Night To Remember

Ever since I got my first bike, I loved cycling.  To a boy having a bike was like a man having a car, you are free to venture out at your own will.  I remember I used to ride it everyday when I finished school on the street and around the estate and I never stopped cycling even when I had a car.  While living at Victoria Dock I would cycle in the morning or after work for an hour around the estate, along the River Humber and the docks.  I loved it especially in the morning an hour before I set of for work.  Cycling while the sun was rising even though the temperature were about 5 degrees and UK had cold mornings, but have the wind and fresh air blown onto my face woke me up even if I had a late night.  I had done a couple cycle trails in the Lake and Peak district.  Although they were hard work with many uphill track in the Midlands, I thoroughly enjoyed them and got great satisfactory and achievement from completing them.

One of the girls from work was organised a night cycle cycling through Singapore last night, so I tagged along.  Our planned journey for the night started at East coast Park (ECP) heading towards Garden by the Bay, Marina Bay Sands, Harbour Front, Henderson Wave, Geylang and then head back to ECP.  I had never done a night cycle before so I thought it would be a good experience.  I never did a night cycle in the UK because once the sun goes down, so does the temperature.  I thought that it would be quite hot and humid riding at night, however the temperature could not be any better, it was warm and not humid.  I actually enjoyed cycling in these condition with limited cars on the road.  I was surprised to see there were actually quite a lot of people at ECP, running, cycling, roller blading, bbq, fishing etc.  Also we were not the only ones cycling, there were many other cyclists on the road.

I enjoyed the cycle, seeing a quieter and peaceful Singapore compared to the busy scene relating to a big city until when we reached the centre and it was like any Saturday night with people out drinking, vomiting, passing out in the streets and peeing in public as well.  One of the girls were disgusted, I said it a normal scene in the UK.  Funny thing is I remembered I have done it before lol, when you need to go and no toilets around you go find a dark alley to do your business.  However this guy did it by the streets which I can understand the way she felt.  Unfortunately we did not complete the cycle trail due to a few unforeseen circumstances.  Firstly one of the bikes ended up with a puncture ending one of my colleague’s night early.  We continued without him, however later on one of the other girls fell and sprained her ankle badly which later on we discovered that she had a really bad unstable fracture which required immediate operation.  We had to go back to ECP to pick up the cars and return to the bikes, on the way back one of the cars broke down three times.  Luckily a taxi driver was willing to bring the bikes back and after that we accompanied my injured colleague to A&E, by this time it was 9 am.  I shortly left after that because I knew I would have to cover my injured colleague’s night shift.

We had been out for almost 12 hours and most have only cycled half the time.  It was a shame that we could not finish the trail and all the occurring mishaps, however we agreed that once my colleagues ankle is better we will do a part 2 and complete the trail.  Even with the mishaps, I enjoyed the night a lot.  We were like a bunch of kids still out playing on the streets way passed our curfew.  We even saw a couple making out in a car and kept cycling pass disturbing them, I believe the British term for this is ‘Cock-blocking’ (unofficial term) lol.  If you never tried night cycling and a big fan of cycling then give it a try.  Cycling at night gives you a different view of the city because everything looks different at night.  Also the empty roads give you more freedom and a stress free ride with limited number of pedestrians and cars.  I can not wait for part 2, so to my colleague I hope your ankle gets better soon so we can finish what we started off :o.

TRicky

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A Sunny Afternoon Walk In Singapore

Singapore is full of walk and hiking trails, from heritage trails taking you through different cultures in Singapore to nature trails showing you the greener side of Singapore.  This weekend a few of my friends and my self thought we would spend our Saturday afternoon going for a walk along the southern ridge trail.  This is a 9km trail made up of eight different trails.  We took the to MRT and got off at Kent Ridge station, that was the start point and hopefully we ended at VivoCity shopping center at Harbour Front where we already a table to have steam boat for dinner.

From the MRT station we headed off to Kent Ridge park, a 47-hectare public park in Western Singapore and is a popular location for nature lovers and tourist.  The park was big, with many hills which reminded me of Sheffield.  Not long from the start we thought we would take a short cut through the woods, which were down hill.  We thought since we went up, why not go down and there were an impressive man made path which can be seen in the photos.  I enjoyed walking through the woods with my improvised machete made from a branch, walking through the woods reminded me of my childhood playing in the woods, climbing trees and making a den.  We must have been in the woods for about half an hour going round in circles until we saw a main road and then decided that we were lost and better stick to the road.  Following Jen Yun’s trusted satnav on her phone we ended up after walking up more uphill roads, until we reached another entrance into Kent Ridge Park.  Huh!  I thought we were supposed to be in Kent Ridge Park, how did we ended up getting out of it.  To make things worst, we were walking in Singapore’s afternoon sun and Singapore is not a cold country.  My t-shirt was soaking wet, like I just finished a muay thai class.  O well, I guess it will make the day more interesting.

The park was big, and we found an area of the park which had like a natures version of the gym.  With pull up bars, logs and ropes.  Being like a kid in a park I had to have a little play, climbing on beams, attempting pull ups and embarrassing myself climbing up a rope.   Later on, we came across a garden with exotic flowers and plants and also art displays with nature theme, there were even a car sawed in half with plants growing from the inside. What’s that all about?  Heading into the eastern side off the park we came across a 280m canopy walk with information boards providing educational information on the flora and fauna in the park.  There were even a warning sign warning people about monkeys within the area what what to do if one approaches, however I was a bit disappointed that we did not see any monkeys.  The canopy walk showed me a more tropical side to Singapore, being high in in the forest surrounded by trees and nature.

After the canopy and more uphill walking, we ended up at Henderson Wave bridge.  A 274 meter bridge high above Henderson Road.  The bridge is a popular locations amongst photographers due to its wave form design making it popular for wedding and model shoots.  There are LED lamps which light up the bridge every evening with shelters where we chilled out a bit after 3 hours of walking.  After a quick break we continued our walk and heading towards Mount Faber via the Faber Trail.  When we reach Mount Faber we thought we could cheat a little by taking the cable cars down the hill to VivoCity, but we had to abandoned the idea because it would cost us s$100 (50 pounds) each to ride it so we thought forget it and head downhill along the Marang Trail.   Before we did though, we enjoyed the night view of Singapore for a little while before heading down hill taking us through another forest.  It was late by this time and the trail had no lights, we all had to use the torch on our phone to light up the path and being TRicky I could not resist but to spook the girls a few times :o.

After four and a half hours of walking, VivoCity was in sight and I was so happy reaching the final destination.  I could not wait to go into the shopping mall to enjoy the air conditioning even though I must have smelt like a baboons back side.  We made it to the restaurant a little later than expected but that did not spoil the night as there were good food, great company, the restaurant is located by the sea and we enjoyed the fireworks display from Sentosa Island.  We finished off the night sharing a ice cream fondue from Haagen Dazs before heading off home for a well deserve cold shower :o.

TRicky


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My First Year Working Abroad

I have just hit the one year mark away from home and working in Singapore.   365 days is not a long time, however I feel I had done and achieved so much.  While looking back at previous blog posts where I was worried before I came out and struggling to fit in at first, I realised that it was a thing of a past.  Now like a ninja blending into their environment, I live life like I have been in Singapore for a big part of my life.  Do not take me wrong, there is still a lot to learn and do however now I do not feel out of place or tourist.  I know what to do and how to speak in order for me to get through the day hassle free, and this applies to both in and out of work.  Although most of the time I speak like a Singaporean, there had a been times when I do revert back to my ‘Proper English’ lol.  Especially when I want someone especially doctors and nurses to follow my suggestion, a very simply but effective method to get what you want and sometimes out of work :o.

I had just found out that a friend of mine from home is going to work in Perth for a year, also hopefully a cousin of mine will make it out to Singapore for a year to study and do her work placement.  However I can tell them now that their one year will fly by and before they know it, they will be back home on UK soil.  I do miss home, my family and friends especially my two brothers.  Technology in the twenty first century is amazing, allow me to chat and play on the playstation with them.  However it is not the same as doing it face to face.  I still do get home sick now and again which I think is natural for anyone to be away from home, but I believe that everyone should go out and explore the world or do something that they would not regret doing.  I would rather regret doing something than regret not doing it.  Reason being is that if I regretted coming to Singapore, fair enough I can say I tried it and did not like it.  However if I did not come, I would most likely regret it.  Why?  You only live once, so why limit your life if you do not have to.

I would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to my family and friends from both UK and Singapore for their encouragement and support for my journey to the east.  This blog is for you, as a sign of appreciation and share my experience.   I had spent much of my first year exploring Singapore and many of Singapore’s different cultures, I have decided that  for the second year I will go explore the rest of Asia and hopefully there will be more exciting new learning experiences to come.  So watch this space 😮

TRicky

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Vesak Day :o)

Even though it is a Saturday today, in Singapore people are celebrating Vesak (Vesākha) Day.  A public holiday and a tradition followed by Buddhist to celebrate the birth, enlightenment and passing away of Gautama Buddha.  Also known as ‘Buddha’s Birthday’, the exact date varies every year depending on the Chinese lunar calendar which is the 15th day of the 4th month.

On Vesak day, Buddhists would attend their respected temples before dawn for the ceremonial, and honorable hoisting of the Buddihst flag and singing hymns in praise of the holy triple gem: the Buddha, the Dharma (his teachings) and the Sangha (his disciples).  Followers may also bring simple offerings such as flowers, candles and joss-sticks to lay at the feet of their teacher.  These symbolic offerings represent the meaning that even though life is beautiful, however it is also subject to decay and destruction.  Also followers are encourage to refrain from killing of any kind, are expected to partake in vegetarian meals for the day and releasing birds, insects and animals as a symbolic act of liberation, giving freedom to those who are imprisoned and/or tortured against their will.  Devoted Buddhist would also make efforts to bring happiness to those who are unfortunate, this is another meaning to celebrating Vesak day.  Cash and gifts would be distributed to charitable homes throughout Asia.

It is said that just before Buddha died, he saw his faithful attendant Ananda weeping.  In response, Buddha asked him not to weep but to understand the universal law that all compounding things must disintegrate (including his body).  Buddha also stressed that paying homage to Buddha was not just by offering flowers, incense etc, but by truly and sincerely striving to follow his teachings to respect and value life.  Buddhist are expected to celebrate the day by using the opportunity to reiterate their determination to lead noble lives, to develop their minds, practice loving kindness with each other and to bring peace and harmony to humanity.

So to all my Buddhist friends and every other Buddhist and to those who are celebrating Vesak day, I hope you have a happy Vesak day while enjoying and value the company of others around you.  How did I celebrate Vesak day?  Not doing much to be honest lol, however reading up on this public holiday had made me think about my family and friends from home who I miss really much and can not wait to see them again.  Also not to forget about my friends in Singapore who make life easy for me in Singapore.  Hopefully I will be skype-ing my two brothers later because I do miss hearing and seeing them.  So take this opportunity not just love and respect those around you but cherish your own life.  You only live once so why not live life to the fullest with no regrets.  Take care……………….

TRicky

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East Meets West – Food I Miss From The UK

Food is something I love and something I can not live without and Singapore is never short of good food especially Asian food.  However it does lack many of the western dishes especially ones that I really love and miss.  So this post is more for my Asian friends to give them a taster of the type of food I love and eat in the UK.

Sunday Roast I had when I got back to Sheffield with my friends at Taybarns

Lets kick it off with an all time favorite for everyone in the UK that I am confident to say is the ‘Sunday Roast’, not the ‘Sunday Rose’ as one of my friend thought I said.  Sunday Roast is a traditional meal usually served during lunch and consist of roasted meat with either roast or mashed potatoes, yorkshire puddings, vegetables, stuffing and gravy.  The roasted meat usually consist of either chicken, beef, lamb or pork or if you are greedy like me a combination of the whatever meat the chef has at the time :).  It can be difficult to prepare such meal because of all the different cooking and timing, that is why I normally go to the pub and have it made for me.  Sunday Roast is probably of one if not the favorite dish of mine because it is British and the combination of all the food on one plate is just delicious.  Funny thing I find about this dish is you can put any combination of the food in your mouth and it tastes lovely whatever way.  A big double thumbs up from me :).

Another favorite dish that I love which is similar to the Sunday Roast is ‘Bangers and Mash’.  Another traditional British Meal that consist of sausages, normally cumberland, pork or beef sausages on top of a bed of mashed potatoes served with gravy.  Another favorite of mine and I normally have it served with garden peas and onion gravy and this one is so easy to make that I normally have it at home.  Easy to make, and fills your tummy up this is another dish that gets a double thumbs up from me :).

Fish & Chips from Smiths, Singapore

A famous dish from the UK is ‘Fish and Chips.’  Now I know people say there is nothing special about it and it can be easily copied and recreated.  Even my boss says Singapore has it everywhere, well boss Singapore only as one shop that makes it exactly like the UK.  I think Fish and Chips does not need any explanation, am sure even if you had never heard of it the dish is basically just a piece of fish with some chips :).  A piece of fish most commonly cod or haddock is fried in batter with proper chips, not fries but big thick chips that are soft on the inside.  Usually served with a salt and vinegar, but it is also commonly served with mushy/garden peas and tar tar sauce.  I like fish and chips however I would only have this dish once in a while because of the grease, however I do miss it being out here in Singapore.  If you would like to try out authentic fish and chips then I suggest you go to ‘Smiths’ on Tanjong Gadong Road because this is the only authentic place in Singapore I know.  However be warned this place is not cheap, S$20 gets you a piece of fish with chips to go with it.  TWENTY SING DOLLARS, that is like a tenner in the UK, proper day light robbery.  However my friends in Singapore it is worth it :).

Apple Crumble with Ice Cream

Anyway, I will steer away from main dishes and go onto desserts and my all time favorite is hot apple crumble or pie.  This is stewed apple filling surrounded by either crumbly mixture of butter, flour and sugar (Apple Crumble) which is crumbly and on the edges can be crunchy or a piece of pastry (Apple Pie).  To me they are both similar and I do not have a favorite between the two, however both served with hot custard and a scoop of ice cream is beautifulllllllllllllllllllllllllllll, I am licking my lips just thinking about it.  It does not normally come with both but I tend to order ice cream on the side because the combination of the dessert with hot custard and melting vanilla ice cream is the perfect way to finish off a meal.  A double thumbs up again from TRicky :).

Famous Wicker Meal 1

I am going to top it off with one last dish, a dish that I love having after a night out and a dish am sure you have heard me talk about and would love to know.  What am I talking about, it is the famous Wicker meal.  This meal made me famous back in the day with my friends because I was probably the only one that can finish a meal 3 regularly.  Most people went for a meal 1, girls tend to stick with a meal 2 (a smaller meal 1).  Meal 1 consist of a piece of fried chicken, donna and chicken donna meat, chips, potatoe wedges, salad and sauces to go with it.  I myself used to clean up a meal 3 which was a meal 1 and 2 put together, so it was like meal 1.5.  Why do I eat this meal I hear you say?  Well its got the protein, carbs and vegetables lol plus after a night out drinking, us Brits need some fat/greasy food to soak up the alcohol.  Nothing beats a Wicker meal, however this time I went back to the UK my friends thought it would be a good idea to order me a Meal 4.  This was like eating three Meal 1’s and did I finish it?  Did I b******s! but I gave it a good try.   My stomach had shrunk since coming to Singapore and disappointed  my friends in the UK.  Hopefully you would be hungry and your tummy would be rumbling after reading this post, this just a sample of dishes I miss while being out here.  

TRicky

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i Light 2012 – Marina Bay Sands

I like my photography and being in Singapore, I never ran out of things to shoot.  Another good thing is I do not really feel out of place walking around with a DSLR because everyone has one, young, old, girls and boys.  I found out about the i Light Festive on yoursingapore.com. This is a good website to check out what there is to do, where to eat and what is happening.  There are many different events happening in Singapore and to avoid disappointment I suggest you check the website out to plan your visit.  The i Light Festival held at the Marina Bay Sands celebrates Marina Bay’s and Singapore’s night scape through the showcase of 25 innovative light art displays along the 3.5km waterfront.  An exhibition made up energy efficient lighting, is also trying to create awareness for energy saving lighting technology for the urban environment.

The scale of the exhibition was enormous, there were displays of all shapes and sizes.  There were some I had to admit I did not really understand, but the rest I thought were really impressive and enjoyed shooting,  The most impressive I thought was a display called, ‘Classification Pending’ by an Australian Craig Walsh.  His display involved shining light into the bay showing creatures such as the Loch Ness Monster swimming about in the water.  It was exciting watching Nessy swimming up and down in the water.  It was a shame that I could not photograph the display.  Check out the photos and see what you think.

TRicky

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My Home Town

Since the beginning of this blog, I had been writing mostly on places I visited and things I had done in the east.  Well I thought I would do something different and do a post on my home town.  It is important to remember where you come from and the experiences you had when you were younger, this is because these experience determine what you are today.  I work in a multi-ethnic department with people coming from different countries around the world and it is fascinating to hear about people’s home town.  Therefore this blog post will be more like a East meets West :).

The funny thing is many of my friends believe that I come from London, the capital of England and I quickly correct them.  In fact I come from a smaller city called Sheffield, about two and half hours drive from London.  According to good old wikipedia, Sheffield is England’s fifth (Sixth in UK) biggest city by population.  A city that is full of hills, green areas, traditional and modern buildings.  Once nick named the ‘Steel City’ famous for its steel production in the 19th century, it is now a modern city with the regeneration of many run down areas especially the town center.  On my trip back I had the chance to visit the center and I could not believe it had changed so much, I did not realise it until I actually stopped to think about the old Sheffield that I grew up in.  When I was younger I used to go to the center shopping with my grandad and I remember landmarks such as the big hole in the round located at what is now Castle Square tram stop.  A massive round about with a hole in the middle where people used to walk underneath and also the big massive fountain that used to be at the top end of Fargate.  Also I used to remember where TK Maxx is at Fargate, there used to be a big plastic crocodile that used to open its mouth on the ground floor.  Me and Chung used to throw pennies at it and run away from the third floor :).

Now, there are many modern buildings and structure to keep up with time and I have to admit they are really impressive.  Mixed in with these modern building are still the traditional Victorian buildings that have been part of Sheffield’s history.  To be honest I never really did appreciate Sheffield’s landscape until I started doing photography.  For my friends visiting from the east and if you do ever make it to Sheffield, apart from visiting the center I recommend Meadowhall.  A big shopping center on the outskirts of Sheffield that has over 280 shops on two floors, a must if you are a shopaholic:). For food I suggest you click on the link below.  Missie Cindz, a good friend of mine loves her food and is always out and about searching for good, fresh and healthy food. I guess that is what am doing wrong, not eating healthily and getting fat :).  I will leave you with some photos I took while out and about in the city center.  Next time I will talk about food I miss from the UK and how it is different to Singapore 🙂

TRicky

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Missie-Cindz-Food-Adventures/131007690306685

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Back in Singapore and FAQ of My Time In Singapore

I have been back in Singapore for almost a week now.  A part of me is glad to be back while the other half is kind of upset.  The funny thing is though when I came back, it felt like I had not been back in Singapore for a long time.  I felt like a newbie again in a new country which was very weird at first, but it did not take me long to fit straight back in again.  During my three weeks back in the UK, I was asked many questions.  Many of the questions from people were the same and I repeated myself every time.  However I did not mind, because for me it was good catching up with people telling people my stories and obviously I kept bragging about being the face of allield health in Singapore :).  The down side were, there were many more of my family and friends who I did not get to see, so this in post I am going to answer questions that were most often asked by people.

1. How is it working in Singapore and what is the department like comparing to Hull?

I enjoy working in Singapore, I work with a great bunch of staff and my boss and seniors really look after me.  The work load as a whole is about the same, the only difference in Singapore is we have a lot of x-ray rooms scattered through out the hospital.  Each room dedicated to certain areas and types of patients with radiographers to go with it, even radiographers in theaters are stationed in a room in theaters.  The humour is different to that in Hull but it still does not mean we do not have fun and boys will be boys no matter where they are from, when it is quiet on a night we do check out girls in A&E and facebook lol.  The department is willing to spend money when it is needed, if we need a machine we will get it unlike the NHS but that is due to mostly funding.  There is no middle management and we do not have the constant pressure of budget cuts.  My boss is really good, really looks after me and bonds well with his staff just like my previous Superintendent Alison.  Even though he is the manager of the whole department including all modalities, he works very hard and always makes time to bond with his staff.

2.What is the pay like?

My pay when converted back to pounds sterling is more or less the same, with the exception of the bonuses I get in a year.  Comparing to living cost I think I do get a decent wage, I actually save more in Singapore even after conversion.  I ain’t going to tell you how much I get paid, you just have to come over here and find out :).

3. What is it like living in Singapore?

I do not want to go into this question too much because I had mentioned it previously in my blog.  I thought it would be like living in London but safer, however I can not really compare because I had never worked there.  I only see friends who work and live in London and it seems like it is just constant work and no play.  I am most likely wrong and it is just the profession that they are in, but I find the home/work life balance in Singapore is good.  I work both office hours and shifts really manageable, giving me plenty of time to hang out with my friends and on my hobbies such as muay thai and photography.   Food is cheap, shopping is acceptable I think, electronics is reasonably priced however when you buy electronics such as laptops and cameras, you get so much freebies with it which to be honest makes it cheaper than the UK :).  Alcohol is expensive and it is just casual drinking out here.  I think my liver had fully recovered before going back, I was actually scared that I would not be able to hold my drink once back in the UK but I did without embarrassing myself too much :).

4. What was all the hype about being the face of allield health and how did I find the experience?

Again to find how I had my fifth teen minutes of fame, please go back a few blog post to read how I got into it and check out the link.  It felt weird seeing myself on the side of buses, MRT billboard, news paper and even on youtube.  I had to admit I was not impress that they had to dub my voice into more of an American accent even though I spoke with my British/Yorkshire accent lol.  I found the whole experience fun, a bit embarrassing sometimes because I do get recognised a little more in hospital.  I am glad I did it while I had the chance and a big Thank you to my boss for giving me the opportunity.  Maybe I will get scouted and people the face of a big company advertising chicken rice or chilli crab lol, but for now its back to normal for me am afraid.

5. Am I glad to be back and what did I miss?

Well of course I am you fool lol!  Sheffield and Hull was my home and seeing everyone again was brilliant.  I had fun reliving my previous life in the UK while getting drunk and enjoying the banter.  I missed the British food and home cooked food.  To my Singapore boss, it is not just fish and chips even though I did miss it.  There is also Yorkshire Pudding, bangers and mash, greasy pizza and other fat food like doner meat.  I tried tackling the Wicker meal but my stomach has shrunk and I am not the same as I used to be.  Family and friends were even disappointed in me, my grandad laughed at me for eating so little now.  I put on weight after my trip but it was well worth it, especially with all the good food at home as well and it was worth it lol.

Finally 6. Can I see myself staying out in Singapore?

In a way I can, but at the same time I can see myself going back.  I have another 2 years of my contract so guess you will have to watch this space and see.

There were many more questions, however I can spend all day writing them in my blog and this post would be too long, so may be next time.  For those I did not get to see, there is always next year and I will try and meet up with you or you can come out here lol.

TRicky

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Holiday Almost Over :o(

I am in my final week of my holiday in UK and I have to admit, it felt like I never left.  Not much had change since being away apart from a few new faces.  It had been nice seeing my family and friends and meeting new people as well.  I spent most of my time chilling out with family and friends and eating loads of food, I can tell you now I am going back to Singapore fatter than I was before lol.  I missed my mum and dad cooking at home and they went all out with every meal at home, cooking so many delicous food while my grandad always made me soup to drink.  Apart from eating at home, I had the privilege to eat out quite a bit.  I know I eat out all the time in Singapore however unlike Singapore where it is cheaper to eat out than in, it is the opposit.  I had the chance to eat some of my favourites, but unfortunately not all.

Apart from eating, because I actually do other things except eating :).  I met up with friends in Hull a couple of times.  We all went out celebrating loads of birthdays in one night hitting Hull Town just like old times and then last night we all went out again to an Italian restaurant in Beverly.  Not much had change in Hull apart from a few new faces, everyone were still the same and mischievous.  For some reason I was to be blamed for these acts and was a bad influence on others which I strongly doubt.  I would not believe that since I left my old work place had calm down and people acted more professional.  It was weird due to the fact that it did not feel like I had left Hull.  This time last year it was my leaving party and now am back and not wanting to leave Hull.  Hull had been a big part of my life and I was happy that it had not forgotten me, bit gutted I did not take any photos though :(.  People was excited and asked me plenty of questions about my journey in Singapore and I tried my best to speak and see everyone.  However over the years I met so many great people and it was hard to see everyone.  I deeply apolygies if I did not see you and you would be on the top of my list next year when I come back.

My holiday is almost over, with the exception of a night out in Sheffield with my close friends before I fly back.  Funny thing is I fitted back in UK so easily it does really feel like I never left.  It does sadden me that I will be leaving again but there is still so much waiting for me in Singapore and the far east.  I know the Red dot commenting system Changi just started is one thing, something that I am excited about but dreading at the same time due to the stress that it will bring me.  I will most likely be bald by the next time I am back in the UK :).  Round it off, to Hull and other fellow radiographers up and down the country.  It was nice seeing you all and I had miss you loads.  I will see you soon and get your butts to Singapore!  Take care!!!!

TRicky

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Jia Hui & Shareena’s Wedding

Last year I delayed my leave for Singapore becuase I attended my cousin Haiyen’s wedding.  This year I had to do the same before my return back to the UK, I attended my good friends and collegues Jia Hui and Shareena ‘s wedding.  Jia Hui, one of CGH radiology four heavenly kings is a good friend and muay thai buddy of mine, so I could not going without attending the wedding.  I was also asked to be the emcee along with another collegue Suhayla.  It was the first Malay style wedding that I had attended and did not know what to expect prior to the wedding.

It was a traditional malay wedding starting with the akad nikah (marriage contract) ceremony where the groom signs the marriage contract and agrees to provide the bride with a mas kahwin (marriage gold).   This is a symbol to show that the groom is willing to look after the bride and prepared to build a family.  After the contract is signed in the presence of a religous official and then accompanied by a prayer.  After the prayer, the tradition tea ceremony which is an important part of chinese weddings were preformed.  Even though it was a malay wedding, Jia Hui is chinese so the tea ceremony were preformed in respect to Jia Hui family.  The traditional tea ceremony is to pay respects to parents and other senior members of the family for raising them up well.  Respects are paid by the bride and groom by offering tea to respected family members, tea is offered to the grooms family followed by the bride’s family.

After the ceremony, both the bride and groom sat on the pelamin, a couch where the couple will sit through out the wedding and is considered as royalty.  The bride and groom then invited guests to take photos with them.  Through out the day both Jia Hui and Shareena changed into three different attire.  The first attire were the tradition malay wedding custome in white, followed by a purple malay wedding custome for both the bride and groom.  Their final attire were traditional western suit and dress.  Shareena looked beautiful in all three dress while Jia Hui, even though the attire were coloruful and highly decorated looked ugly :).  Malay food were served through out the day and it was lovely, especially the mutton rendang which I shared a plate full with a few of the other lads.  The only thing that made me feel funny was a malay dessert that contain durian, yuke!  If you remember, I talked about durian in a previous post and I did not like it.  For me the taste hit me like a bus, but I guess it served me right for shoving everything into my mouth.

Before the wedding I did not know what to expect, especially being one of the emcee I knew I could not wing it like always and had to prepare.  However unlike chinese weddings where the emcee does a lot of talking entertaining guests and basically talking a lot of s*^&, I did not really say much apart from narrating through out the whole day.  I found that the malay wedding were really simple compared to the traditional chinese weddings, however I did try and embarrise the couple by asking them three things they like about each other and one thing they found annoying about each other lol.  Being TRicky, I could not resist and had to do it.  I really enjoyed the day and had lots of fun while learning many things from a different culture.  Even though there were bumpy times during the wedding I believed that everything else ran smoothly and I am really happy for Shareena and Jia Hui.  I wish them all the best and happiness for their marriage and future 🙂

TRicky

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Am back :o)

Arrived back into the UK yesterday morning and when I got off the plane, it was freezing lol. Chung and my dad picked me up from the airport along with Calvin and Chung’s girlfriend Jodie which I was suprised to see.  UK had not changed much, the weather was still cold but I had only gone for eight months.  First thing I did when I got to the airport was to have a cup of English tea.  Now before you say, Singapore must have English tea of some sort and they do.  However it does not taste the same, some people believe it is due to the fact that Singapore does not have fresh milk.  So you can imagine that tea is all that I have been drinking since I came home.

It was nice to see my family, especially my baby brother who was really excited to see me.  When I got home, he dragged me into the living room and spent all morning and afternoon playing with him.  It was good to see him laughing him again :o).  I was so tired and jet lagged that I was tired and in bed by 7 pm and slept until 4 am.  I did not know what to do with myself so spent the whole morning watching movies while my whole family was asleep.  When morning came, I looked out of the window and admire the view from my bedroom.  I must have got used to looking out of the window and seeing flats and a busy main road.  This morning, the whole street and the fields were quiet.  It was a cold morning but the sky was clear and the sun was shining bright, sometime that I did not appreciate while I was in the UK before.  Apart from the view, I had to complete my morning with a Mcdonalds Sausages and Egg McMuffin, hash brown and topped off with another cup of English tea.  I have got so much planned with so little time, but will try and update my trip as much as possible.  So people of UK, see you soon 🙂

TRicky671

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Singlish Lesson 2 – Sentence Endings …..

I came across a picture on a friends facebook page and had to share its contents.  It is from a piece from ‘An Essential Guide To Singlish’ titled ‘Sentence Endings…’  Now if you remember while back I wrote a piece on Singlish and how confusing it can be if you do not know the language.  If you had read it and remember, I came across a confusing conversation between one of my colleagues and a staff nurse where all I heard were Can ah? Can! Can!  Now after being in Singapore for some time I have started to pick it up slowly.   To be honest it is a funny but fascinating language and understanding it can save time, but only if all parties understand.  So I am going to give you a crash course on what to expect if you ever come to Singapore and come across Singlish, so here is a chance to better understand the locals:).

Can ah? – Can you or can’t you?

Can la! – Yes!

Can Leh! – Yes! Of Course.

Can Lor! – Yes! I think so.

Can Hah? – Are you sure?

Can hor? – You are sure then?

Can meh? – Are you certain?

So if you come to Singapore, try to learn these sentence ending and your visit will be so much easier 🙂

TRicky

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