thoughts so far…

About 5 days into my 10 weeks stay in Korea. School just started officially (got placed in Level 2).

Loads of thoughts though –

  • When you say you are from Singapore, people still draw a blank. They don’t quite know where it is and whether to speak to you in English or Mandarin.
  • I am glad that I am bilingual.
  • Korea has impossible slopes. It’s impossible to climb and when you take a car, you feel like you are on a rollercoaster. I think my sister’s (ex)Picanto might have some serious problems here.
  • I miss Singapore’s inter-loop buses very much. Having a bus that stops right at your bus stop is…a luxury.
  • I am independent. But I prefer to have my family with me. Being independent on my own is just different.
  • Pedestrian paths….I miss our flat, smooth and walkable/luggage roller friendly paths.
  • Ultimately, I realised how lucky I am to be born in Singapore.

Don’t get me wrong. I still love Korea. But living here and visiting is totally different. Whenever someone ask (more like tell) me to just migrate to Korea, my reply/stand has always been, “I don’t want to. It’s different if you live there. You never quite know if a place is really awesome or if it’s awesome becos you are away from stress/mundane stuff (on holiday). Korea is a nice place to visit and de-stress but living there? Nope, I don’t think I can.”

This round, I need to think of food, grocery, room furnishing, lifestyle needs etc etc It’s just too….mafan. And I have to walk for about 10-15 minutes before I reach any decent street. A good 30 minutes before I reach any train station.

Okay, before this becomes a rant, I will end here. My eyes are shutting too. I miss you, Singapore!

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here we go, at last.

The night before I fly off to Seoul for 10 weeks. Something that I have been going on and on about for about a year.

When I left Maybank back in June last year, I was burnt out and I was still young. Still holding on to the hope of looking for the perfect workplace. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, I had no plans (other than to finish my CFP Module 4). It was after a haircut (where I chopped off my hair) that I decided I want to head to Korea. I broke it to the family during Father’s Day Dinner @ Chef Wan. I wanted to head to Sogang in Sept 2013. The mum was supportive, but the dad was skeptical as usual. But things changed when I told my Korean class my plans. Rebecca had the same plan and so that’s when I decided to postpone the plan for a year. More time for my dad to warm up to the idea, more time for me to plan.

Between then and now, I think I’ve grew up quite a bit. I have so many people that I want to thank.

I learned that there’s no workplace without politics (like finally!). But you can learn to cope with it. I don’t know how I did it. But I made it through 9 months in that place. Maybe because I’ve grown up or because of the “lingering protection” from my bosses. But I did it 🙂

Now for my list of thank you-s….

Esther:  Thank you for asking me to stay when I wanted so badly to leave in that 1st month! For the lunch treats and for always being honest with me (:

ZQ: Thank you for meeting for lunch every day for the first 4-5 months! Vegetarian everyday then Bee Hoon everyday! It really helps to have someone to keep me in check. For the record, I haven’t had Macs ice-cream cone since that treat from you ;p

Jun Ying: Couldn’t have made it through without you! Going to miss having you sitting next to me (:

Janelle/Jerrick: For the occasional lunches. Always nice to see someone familiar during work!

ber: For treating me to dinner whenever we meet this year! For motivating me when I wanted to give up.

Jie En: For the treat and the “truckload” of chocolates (that helped me stay sane in times of emergency).

And the list goes on…

I am really tired. Really stress about my luggage. I can’t decide if I want to do a backpack or a carry on luggage yet.  I’m not sure if I will be able to keep my depigmentation cream into the fridge on the flight. My pimples. So many things.

If you know me, you know I always have seperation anxiety before I travel. Be it for a day or more. I’m not worried about myself but about my parents. Even right now, I am leaning towards not going. Reluctant to let go of my room, my routines, my comfort zone (where I can flare up as and when).

But, go I will. It’s something I need to check off my bucket list.

I’m going to go now. The next time I blog, I will probably be in Korea (:

everything is a secret.

I don’t know. It might be taboo to say this. But I still have to say this. Still going to say this.

I really don’t get why the concept of keeping everything a secret from….COUSINS. It seems to be a thing among the older folks in my family (my parents’ generation).

For example, I just received my breast ultrasound results. I am under observation for 6 months. When I came home, the first thing my mum said was, “Must tell your dad not to tell anyone. You don’t tell anyone too ok?”

WHAT WAS THAT AGAIN?

I mean I won’t intentionally tell my cousins. But through Facebook maybe?  And if my dad wants to share the “news” with the uncles/aunties, nothing wrong with that, no?

Another example is about my departure date. My mum is like, “Don’t go around telling people (read: cousins) when you are flying.”

WHAT WAS THAT AGAIN?

Once again, if I can share this information with my friends, why can’t I share it with my cousins?

And what? Do I have to keep pretending that I am in SG? o.o

My mum is not the only one. Many a times, news about the cousins’ are kept from the family by the uncles/aunties that we will only after months or even years.

I don’t understand. Really don’t. Happy news, sad news..Cousins are family. Family means no secret. So why must we hide?

And…During sad/tough times, the cousins can provide more support no?

Anyways, my reply to my mum was, “I already put online. they know everything already.”

Her response? Unhappy silence.

oh, vanity.

Been a while since I wrote here and I always thought the next time I write here, will be a post about my trip to Korea. But well, guess not. Haha!

Vanity. Vanity. Vanity. It’s wrong to pursue it huh?

I decided to go for ATV Laser to remove my sunspot after discussing with my dermatologist, Dr Phay. It’s about $450 for the procedure to remove a big one and 2 small ones. My mum does it for $5 per spot at some random beautician but honestly, I don’t trust those. Plus, Dr Phay has always been very reassuring about my acne and everything. 

The night before the procedure, my sister asked me, “Do you consider yourself vain?” I was shocked for awhile. 

Honestly, I was never vain. I don’t put on make up. I don’t dress up. But then again, there wasn’t a need for me to be vain back then. My skin was clear. No acne, small pores, smooth. I don’t know when it all began. But sub-consciously, when my skin started erupting in 2011, the endless of pursuit of vanity, beauty, clear skin began. 

Anyway, I digress. In summary, yes. I am vain (shocking revelation, really).

Here’s how the sunspot look like – 

with angie's flowers ;p

with angie’s flowers ;p

I realised I have been digitally removing the sunspot that it’s hard to find a photo with the sunspot. You can see it in the picture above on the right. 

So, on 11th August, I took half day off and went for the procedure. It was relatively simple and fast. The procedure (15 min) was shorter than the waiting time for the numbing cream (1hr). There’s no pain at all. You see flashes of light and then feel light “scraping” on the spots. But that’s about it.

The immediate result after the procedure –

before and after.

I worked from home for the next 2 days as I didn’t want to risk having infection. The wound is like when you accidentally scrap yourself. Or as we call it in Chinese – 破皮. 

one big + 2 small.

one big + 2 small.

Over the next few days, the small ones disappeared. Just two small patch of skin that’s of a lighter shade. But it has even out now, I think. As for the big one….It took about 2 weeks before it “dried” up (slightly longer than what I was told; but I guess it differs btw individual). However, instead of turning into a scalp and falling off (like the small ones and what I was told), my skin very cleverly grew over it. 

So now, the spot is more prominent than ever 😦

I emailed the clinic and Dr Phay advised to use a de-pigmentation cream. Apparently it was expected because that’s how Asian skin heal 😦 And that there was some infection or what not. I went back to the clinic to pick up the cream and used it on Friday (2 weeks after the procedure). However, after one night, the skin surrounding the spot turned red 😦

darker spot with red rim around it.

darker spot with red rim around it.

Sigh. I am still waiting for the redness to disappear before attempting the cream again. But it’s been 2 days and the redness is still there 😦 I guess I will have to give the clinic a call again on Wednesday when they are back in business.

I seldom do things that I regret. But it seems like I should have left the sunspot alone 😦 It wasn’t that obvious anyway. Now because of vanity, I interfered and it’s red and eye-catching now. 

Very upset. And this is on top of my erupting forehead. Sigh. Looks like I have to go to Korea looking ugly. Sigh.

Please, just let the redness disappear and let the spot heal 😦 I’m so upset that I told my mum that I dont want to look into the mirror anymore. Sigh.

Vanity. The cause of everything.8