The Marriage Proposal… One Year On

Last Saturday the fiancee and I went to East Coast Park (ECP) to celebrate our first year since I proposed. Originally planning on going to Sentosa via cable car to relive the proposal, we decided against it in the end. Among other reasons (truth-be-told, there was only one), it was because it was too expensive (of course, we all know that it was because I was stingy and didn’t love her enough).

Not wanting to disappoint her too much (just a little was fine), I told her that we’d still make our way down to Vivo for some (preferably window) shopping before we headed down to the East Coast. That way, we’d at least still be able to catch a glimpse of the cable cars, an activity I was sure she’d enjoy (if enjoying meant stirring up latent feelings of disappointment and longing, she enjoyed it plenty).

We made our way down to Vivo mid-afternoon, after watching a surprisingly addictive documentary called “Pawn Stars”.

We drove down to Vivo, which was approximately 15 minutes away by car. As we neared our destination, we caught our first glimpse of the cable cars, and I could sense the fiancee’s enjoyment level go up a notch or two (“so close, yet so far,” I thought I heard her say).

The time spent at Vivo was largely uninteresting. All I remember from the time spent in Vivo was walking and more walking, a routine only broken by a small meal, soon after which was followed by yet more walking (I guess it’s what girls call “shopping”?). We finally left the place just before 6pm (when the $2.40 per-entry carpark charges kicked in). (It was with great irony that our outing at Vivo yielded me a pair of shorts from a shop that drew customers in with a huge “Closing Down Sale” banner, whereas the fiancee went home empty-handed. Can I also note that it’s not the first time I went shopping with the fiancee with the intention of accompanying her spend her hard-earned dollars only for me to do so instead?)

At ECP, we were considering between two places, both ranked quite highly by hungrygowhere.com: 1 Twenty Six and Claypot Fun. We went to 1 Twenty Six first as it was the less likely of the two (by virtue of the reportedly steep prices), and were not disappointed — true to our expectations, the prices were as high as a teenager on drugs. As the fiancee said, at those prices, there were better (and fancier) dining places, so off to Claypot Fun we went.

The fiancee had heard about Claypot Fun from a friend. Overall it was a very decent place: food was acceptable for its price, the staff weren’t rude (you can probably tell my expectations of service in Singapore isn’t very high), and seating was relatively generous. There were really only two things that I would complain about: the first was that the cashier did not let us know that we could have been entitled to a 10% discount had we used the discount coupon found in one one of the million Big Splash pamphlets displayed at the counter; the second, more essential thing, was that they didn’t provide the sweet dark soy sauce with the claypot rice we ordered by default, instead providing only the lighter, saltier soy sauce (which did nothing to make the rice any less bland). Had I not finally requested it halfway through our meal after seeing another enlightened table having it, it’d have had to have been one of the worst meals we’d ever had.

No, this wasn't taken @ East Coast.

After we had finished eating, we went for a walk along the beach. The sun, by now settling down somewhere in the west, provided a wonderful backdrop for a romantic evening. About a half hour of paktoring (I think this roughly translates — not that accurately I might add — to English as “dating?”) later, we headed to Starbucks for a drink. The fiancee had her usual fruit juicy thingy, and I had my usual latte (it always brings back wonderful memories of my time in Aussie).

We looked through some newspapers, and somehow we always came back to the topic of our jobs (sometimes I swear I’d kill to be rid of this bane called a “job” — (though I know others who’d kill to have one)). My job’s decent, and hers I’m sure, to her, is too, but still we’d rather be some place else.

We headed back to the car after our drinks, and she thought we’d be making our way back home. But then I wasn’t done yet. I brought the fiancee to a more deserted part of ECP, which really wasn’t that deserted, and pulled a rabbit out of my hat. I told her to look in the glove compartment, and there it was, a Rabbids (for the Wii) game. Surprisingly, she didn’t look so surprised, and it was only seconds later that’d I find out why.

It seemed that she’d seen the receipt for the game (when I passed it to her to get the drinks I think) in my wallet! Omg, right? To think that she’d counter my surprise with a surprise of her own. But as every magician knows (I’m sure they do), the key to making sure you don’t screw up too badly is to always have a backup plan, which I did. After some corny mushy conversation in which I enticed her to say the word “too” (I really cannot go into the details), I reached my hand to the back of her seat and pulled out another Rabbids game (they were both different episodes, of course), all the while asking her, “two? did you say two? you want two?”

Her counter attacked foiled, she was now genuinely surprised, not at all expecting that I had bought two games (she merely glanced at the receipt and didn’t check out what it really contained). But a magician doesn’t just stop at delighting his audience, he seeks to absolutely delight his audience! I still had one more trick up my sleeve, one that I was sure would make her glow with pleasure even more.

I told her to wait in the car, as I had something else in the boot for her (a lantern shaped as a pig — any resemblance to any person living or dead was purely coincidental). She happily agreed, by now engrossed at examining the two games I got her. I know, the lantern festival (also known as the mid-autumn festival) wasn’t quite here yet, but I when I saw this lantern at the stationery shop where I got the wrapping paper for her two gifts, I knew I just had to get it for her (she had indicated her interest in this lantern just the previous week at some other shop in Jurong; in turn, I had indicated my my displeasure at how much it cost. No purchase was made back then, but the serendipity of seeing the exact same lantern in Kovan did it for me).

Taken when in Perth. Josephine, the fiancee, and me.

Her eyes lit up when she saw the lantern (it might have been the candlelight). So off we went, lantern in hand, to the beach. There were more than a few curious stares, which I welcomed; doing things like this reminded me so much of Perth and the crazy times we had.

Many times the candle threatened to be blown out by the wind, but somehow or other it continued burning. We walked to one of those sea-wall things and sat there and talked for a bit before making our way back to the car, by which time the candle had pretty much burned itself out.

All in all, I couldn’t have planned this day any better. Sure, we missed out on the cable car ride (I was actually quite looking forward to it before my lantern plan came about), but this day’s certainly going to go down as one of the more unforgettable days in my life. And hopefully just one of the many, many wonderful days we will share in ours.



Air Supply Concert

I went with the fiancée to an Air Supply concert last Sunday. It was my first concert (her second), and up till now I still don’t quite know how it all happened. I remember seeing the ad for the show one day while watching television, thinking “hey, they’ve got one song she really likes and plenty that I like, I wonder if she’ll be interested.” I really can’t really recall any other concert (other than perhaps Michael Jackson) whom we’d both be interested in going to.

And even if it wasn’t that she was interested in watching Air Supply per se, I think the novelty of my actually suggesting that we go to a concert would’ve shocked her into saying yes anyway. I know few who are more tight-fisted about money than me, and my shelling out more than a hundred bucks for two hours of entertainment is quite extraordinary. She wasn’t going to give up this opportunity.

The concert was held at Resorts World Sentosa. We made our way down a little earlier than what we thought necessary in order to take a look around (since it was the first time either one of us were there), but in the end by the time we managed to find the convention centre (this place was huge) it was close to the time the concert was supposed start.

We took our seats  on what she called “50 cents seats” — because they looked so cheap — and quickly got down to the business of snapping photographs to capture the moment. Scanning around the hall, we realised we made a pretty good purchase with our $128 seats: straight down the centre and not too far as to have to require binoculars.

Before the concert started, I must admit that I was worried I’d brought her to show she wouldn’t enjoy. But once the show started, and “Two Less Lonely People in the World” started playing, I knew there was no doubt as to her enjoyment. Good show!

Parkour in Singapore?

Yesterday I saw an ad by StarHub for a parkour-inspired run they were organising and it got my heart racing! Called “StarHub Urban Freestyle“, it is according to them (and as far as I know) the first ever parkour-inspired run organised here. The first thought that ran in my head was that this was too cool to miss; the second thought was that I had to get Wei Hao to join me in running it — I remember our parkour-inspired stunt back at Currie Hall that left him with a barcode-tattoo-like scar on his arm (is it still there I wonder?)

But upon visiting their website, I realised that the likelihood of it turning out to resemble a really lame children’s playground was pretty high. I mean, this is Singapore — though not a very litigious society prone to lawsuits, nobody really dares take any sort of risk especially where safety’s concerned. Anyway, if you’re into this sort of thing, do check it out. And for those who have no idea what parkour is, please take a look at the video below and prepare to be inspired! (Don’t blame me if you get hooked!)

I had a busy week… and a nerdy revelation

What a busy week this last week has been — I’ve been swamped with work! On top of my usual monthly reports, I’ve had to run several of the daily reports as well due to a change of roles for one of my colleagues. I’m starting to develop the “overworked, underpaid” syndrome.

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Okay, here’s a little confession I have to make.

After being given the task to run these reports, I did some digging in the code behind the running of them, and what I found made me so happy! I found that the code that was written was highly inefficient and I was actually excited to think about all the code optimisation I could be doing… I was pretty much that proverbial kid in a candy store, thinking to myself, where do I start? what should I start optimising? yay!

So, there you have it, I’m a nerd. Argh.

Going to the Zoo Tomorrow

I tried getting the corporate pass to the zoo today but was told that it was all taken up for the month of February. Thankfully the fiancée’s company has the pass to the zoo too, and hopefully she’ll be able to get one in March.

Then we can finally sing this song with gusto:

PS: By the way, make a guess who introduced this song to me! (Those who know the fiancée really shouldn’t find it too difficult.)

Update: Seems like we’re going to the zoo this month after all! Got an e-mail from HR informing me that the pass has been reserved for me next weekend! I’m going to the zoo zoo zoo, how about you you you?

I Got an Olympus E450!

I just thought I’d like to announce that I had gotten myself a new digital SLR. It’s the Olympus E450. Though initially not too thrilled about its lack of an image stabaliser, and seriously considering trading up to an E620 that does, after using it a while I’ve taken quite a liking to it and think that perhaps it’s the better camera for me, since it’d force me to get more creative with the types of shots I take, and how I take them — what can I say? my mostly-positivity-laden brain’s geared toward resolving such small issues as consumer regret.

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