My Diary #014

I went to the Taste of Edmonton this week, and there’s a separate post for it over here. I won’t be talking much about that event down below in order to avoid duplication.

Also, a new segment in my scrapbook diary premieres this week! It’s Photo of the Week, where I post an old photograph, largely from the family photo albums that I am scanning, and talk about it. I’m really excited about this one and it ties in well to my desire to document my earlier life period.

Entry #014 (Jul 25 2021)

Table of Contents

Vicariously consume my…
ට  Work
ට  Life
ට  Games
ට  Plushie of the Week #13
ට  Photograph of the Week #1
ට  Things I am thankful for this week
ට  Dreams

Work

Work this week was pleasant, with not a whole ton of stressful work, and a few old expired knowledge base articles had time to be rewritten and reprocessed and ultimately taken off the plate. I also got to rewrite our email alias guidelines again, for about the sixth time in the past 10 years, since they want to polish up the page and application procedure involving that process again. I like that though. Our University is really kind of patchwork and every little thing I can do to clean it up is good.

Every other time we’ve done this before, the team we work with in charge of implementing them has bungled it, either due to lack of time and thus only getting things half-implemented, or due to their team leader wanting to implement things their own way because of philosophical differences or his “I know your job better than you” attitude. This time my boss is now more or less in charge of both teams though, so the chances that the changes we’ve wanted to implement for years will be finally implemented properly are good.

I also got to untangle a couple convoluted cases revolving around ownership of campus login accounts (Campus Computing IDs, or CCIDs) that I feel are kind of my specialty, and that felt good. Plus I had enough extra time to be able to head down to the food festival twice and making up my work time on either side of it. Flexible time is the best.

Life

I returned the camera glasses this week. The email with the RMA number said I had to use it within three days or it would expire, but when I inquired about this last week, the customer representative assured me it was okay as long as I sent it before the end of this week. So I sent it on Friday, a full week later. I also had to provide tracking for it, and it claims the package will arrive within two weeks, whereas the original email said that the RMA number will expire if the package wasn’t received between 7 to 10 days of the issuance of the RMA number and the item will be sent back to me.. which seems idiotic and harsh considering COVID-19 and package-sending times from overseas. Still, I hope that’s all okay from what the customer rep said. I have a nagging feeling something will go wrong here, though.

I also went down for the eye glaucoma test this week, and it was annoying, but the end result was that the optometrist prescribed me to take some eye drops, one per eye every evening, largely as a preventative thing for the probable glaucoma, which is basically high pressure in the eyes. The eyedrops would reduce the eye pressure, and there’s an optional surgery which I can do (I don’t) that would also relieve the pressure for a couple years, and either way catching it early and treating it through eyedrops or otherwise would lower the chances of vision issues in the future.

The odd thing is that they had to be prescription eyedrops rather than an off-the-shelf one, even though it’s a generic brand (Latanoprost). It’s prescribed on a trial basis for now, and I have to check back in 3 weeks to see if there’s been any effect, I guess. If there isn’t much change after three weeks though, she’ll try a different prescription instead. The optometrist made the joke that this was a really popular eyedrop because it sometimes makes your eyelashes a bit thicker as a side effect, or sometimes like that. Apparently if that goes well, she then wants to do a checkup every 6 months or so, but I mentioned I would likely be going overseas next year so it would have to wait for a bit. She said that was fine and she’d give me a prescription instead. Not sure how I’m going to fill that in over there though.

So anyway it’s once per day in the evenings, one drop per eye, and I basically do it a couple hours before bed. Not sure when the best time for it is exactly.

I don’t seem to remember doing much else this week. I scanned a couple more photo albums, and have about twelve to go before finishing the family photos. Minus a bag of my sister’s photos that I can’t find and so must have been put in a different box somewhere.

I signed up for Google Connect, the review sub-section of Google Maps, in order to give a nice review for the Calgary hotel that I liked from my trip down to the Stampede. This meant that I got to upload a few Tigey pictures (the same ones in my blog post) to the world. Someone representing the owner immediately thanked me for posting the review (they actually thanked me for the 5-star review before I had edited in any of the text or pictures). How slightly awkward. I also, as mentioned at the start of this blog post, fired off a page for my Taste of Edmonton (double) trip that I did this week. I did note that these posts aren’t appearing on my front page because they’re flagged as pages instead of posts, and I wanted to do it this way originally for organizational purposes, but this makes less and less sense because my future travel diary entries will be like these too, and those should be posts as well, and there won’t be much of a difference between those and these.

So this week I’ll have to find out how to convert Pages to Posts (there are apparently some WordPress plugins for this) and integrate them into my main Table of Contents so they’re all in one big table and get fed into RSS and frontpage feeds. The main Shrine stuff, once I get to those, will still be pages, because they’ll be articles that I will constantly be adding to as I remember more things. But one-off event posts and things like yearbooks scans definitely make more sense to me as Posts now. And I’m happy that going through the process now highlighted this for me, rather than when I have no time to actually work on the site once I’m in Japan or whatever else.

I’m looking forward to the Heritage Days festival at the end of July/start of August. Expect a post for that event. There’s another event in the city running right now called the Summer Fun Midway, but this just looks like a low-level alternative for the cancelled Edmonton K-Days event this year, which itself is a clone of the Calgary Stampede that just ended, and the rides and stalls and such at this event are probably identical to the ones I just saw, so this would be pointless to go to. That link above also states that bringing home-boiled water onto the premise is a no-no, and that you can only bring an empty water bottle to refill on the grounds. This sounds terrible and disgusting, and sounds like an artificial way to drive up sales of drinks in the event, so that’s a big No! from me too.

Oh, and Satinel had her 2nd vaccine date moved up by 6 weeks to early August, so that’s really nice. Especially since she basically works as an essential worker in a grocery store, this is long overdue in my selfish opinion.

My boss did speak to me about taking a vacation as most of the other people on the team have taken one this summer and so I’m on the top of his worry list for that again (the one day Calgary Stampede thing notwithstanding). So I’m idly toying around with the idea of taking a couple weeks and going somewhere out of the country, once the borders reopen. How many borders are even reopened in general? It’s so hard to keep track these days since they have to be opened both ways for travel to resume. Looking at you, USA. I can always take this hypothetical vacation in a couple months though. Travel around several major cities in the USA. Or I can take a trip within Canada. Maybe visit Vancouver by train or hop over to Ontario or something. Bring back a few disease variants to spread around the city.

I’d actually really like to visit South Korea again, even though I’ve already been there twice. Neither time was fully for leisure though (since both times a surgery was hanging over me). I really liked Seoul. Hong Kong or Taiwan would be really neat too, though the political climate might be an issue. Japan would be pointless since I plan to go there for an extended period of time next year anyway, and I want nothing to do with the ongoing Olympics there and the next massive spike of cases that’s sure to happen and persist for a bit afterwards. I’d like to go to mainland China sometime but now doesn’t feel like the correct time for that.

Oh, and I am paying next to no attention to the Olympics over here in Canada either.

It’s nice to dream, though, and thinking back on it and looking at all the photo albums we had, I note that my parents made it a point to bring us kids to different countries growing up every couple years, for up to a month at a time, during the summer or winter school holiday break. I think these were really important experiences for me growing up because it helped broaden my horizons, even if I couldn’t actually appreciate it until many years later. And, as far as I can tell, my earliest actual memories might be from trips to Canada (Montreal) and England (London) in May/June of 1987, when I was 3 years and 3-4 months old.

Games

This week was still largely spent playing Troubleshooter, and I’m up to about 98 hours in total in the game now. It’s going to join my vaunted 100-hour game club in a couple of days. (There’s at least four to five dozen games in this club, though.) I am getting slightly worn down with the game though, partly because I’ve played it so much, and partly because some of the missions are so complex and take so long, with so many controllable characters and enemies to kill, that they run a couple hours long each. The downtime between each quest can get really long too because there’s a lot of micromanagement that can be done with character abilities too, especially as the size of my team grows.

The story and gameplay is still excellent though. I’m completely attached to the characters and definitely want to at least play through the main story to see what happens to them. Even if this game is marketed as just “Chapter 1” and thus not likely to completely resolve most of the story threads. Oddly, while I usually lose interest in a game by getting interested in another game or show or something, in this case what’s starting to chew away at my desire to play this game isn’t another game, but instead the desire to work more on this damned blog!

Jah did play this game this week for Jah Stream Night on Friday, after a botched attempt last week that was ruined by technical issues. I appreciate him doing that to share my love of the game with everyone else, even if the introduction was so long (and his playing style so conservative, c’mon Jah) that he didn’t manage to get to the first character recruitment. It was fun to watch someone else play though, and I saw a few new story bits and references that I had not noticed before, or realized the significance of, during my playthrough. And a new and amusing bug.

Outside of Troubleshooter, I finally got around to dabbling around in Honkai Impact 3 on the phone, and the reason for this is that there’s a Season 2 of a short anime that ties in to that game that is currently airing, and that I am casually watching, and I found myself with a mild interest to know more about the characters. The gameplay is a little odd, though at least I’m happy it’s something different from the usual turn-based combat that one finds in generic gacha games. Instead, it’s a real time button masher to defeat small groups of enemies at a time, with the occasional boss involved, in stages that are partitioned in exactly the same format as a generic gac- hey, wait a minute.

Plushie of the Week #13 – Snake

This week’s plushie of the week is another venerable one, and yet another one that has a rather uninspired name. Snake! I had mentioned Snake in last week’s writeup about the Santa Claus plushies, but I would like to amend this slightly and note that I’m fairly sure that Snake came before them, and thus was likely my first ever plushie.

Despite that, Snake has never had a well-defined personality, and has always passively just kinda been there as a member of the plushie corps. You can see half of him at the bottom left of the group photo from 2003 that I keep reusing here:

Or in this one from 2014, you can see his head poking out in the bottom right as he’s being sat on by a teensy pink fox:

Here are some proper pics of Snake and his tongue though. Front:

Side:

Underbelly/tag:

His tongue fell off 10-15 years ago (in our early Edmonton days in our 4012 family house, I think) and has literally just been brought along everywhere with him like an artifact since. He’s a rather stiff snake and doesn’t permanently bend into any other shape — this is his natural shape, curves and all, and I’m pretty sure he’s been used as a beating stick by one plushie on another plushie once or twice in the distant past. (Don’t worry, none of them are really physically violent.) Such is his lot in life. And frankly, I’m surprised those eyes haven’t fallen off as well. They’re basically pieces of paper glued on. How did Snake even pass toy inspection. And how did those little pieces of paper last 25 years?

The reason I think he predates the Santa Claus(es) from last week’s entry is that I’m moderately certain that I won him from an arcade in Singapore called Whimsy, in a shopping center in the north of the country, so that would probably have been before we moved from the northern side of the country (Yishun) to the eastern side (Tampines) sometime in 1996, before I entered Secondary 1. So if my suspicions are right, this snake most likely came into my possession sometime between 1995 and 1996. I might unearth photographic or anecdotal evidence in the future that proves otherwise, but for now that’s what I’m going with!

Photograph(s) of the Week #1

Welcome to a new segment of my weekly blog entry! The intent of this segment is to show a picture or photograph from my past, and then talk about my connection to and thoughts about the picture. This photograph will vary between people and places, new and old, shutter camera and phone camera.. I’m going to touch on it all eventually.

I’m going to break the original intent of this section before I even post my first photograph though, and say that I reserve the right to post more than one photograph, if it’s more or less of the same thing. In this case, the following photos are of the first family apartment home that I really remember, the home we affectionately call Yishun 799. Specifically, they’re pictures of the kitchen area in the flat.

Picture 1 – Front door and part of kitchen
Picture 2 – Length-wise view of kitchen
Picture 3 – The kitchen table
Picture 4 – The back half of the kitchen

As you can see from the pictures, these was taken on May 13, 1987, a year and a day before my younger sister was born. I was 3 years old then. This is a picture of our kitchen, and the cute little half-wall that separated the kitchen from the living room. The kitchen was about 1/4 to 1/5 of the size of the entire flat.

You can also see the front door in the first picture, with an old fashioned alarm device on it, and a fancy locking mechanism that was basically a bolt. In the third picture, from the kitchen looking out, you can see the balcony room in the background, and how it was an indoors area  It was considered a dirtier area and I never really played in there though — those “windows” you see are on rollers that slid left and right, but I believe they couldn’t actually be “closed”. If there was rain, the balcony doors were closed, not the windows. (Here are more photos of the balcony area and the view from it — 01 02 03.)

What I did want to reminiscence about was the kitchen though. As we were in this home until sometime through my late Primary 2 or early Primary 3 days, that kitchen table was also my first homework table, and I spent many evenings on the chairs there, with my back to the half-wall. From the third picture, I vividly remember that red grid thing that the hooks were hanging from, as well as that white hanging pouch made of some sort of rough cloth with birds and flowers embroidered on it, and stuffed full with papers and things. Later on that white phone on the table was replaced with a large radio, which I often got to control and tuned in to various FM Radio stations with.

The second picture shows a full length view of the kitchen and the stoves and pots in the background, where my mom would make us our food. The fourth picture is a close up of that back area, where our old fridge is visible too, as well as the little double-decker tray where our cups were. The sink can be seen to the left of the stove. On the middle left was our washing machine, with an orange tub of used clothes on top of it. Just beyond the washing machine is a room leading to the left — that was our toilet, where we took our showers and where I remember being bathed by my father when I was little. I don’t remember if this was the only toilet in our house — it might have been, which might have been a big reason why we eventually moved to a new place in 1993ish before my younger brother came into our family and made it a party of 5.

Above the washing machine was a place to hang our clothes poles — nearly no one in Singapore used dryers, instead we just had a washing machine, and then we hung our clothes out to dry, often outside the kitchen windows, stretching above open air, until they were reasonably dry, and then the rest of it inside the house on those hooks up top. Every house had those, and people used a special pole to get the bamboo clothes poles (known as “teko” or “tek koh” — malay word) down from the hooks in the ceiling.

Finally, in the second picture, you can see a little store-room off to the side on the near side of the left wall. That was the tiniest of rooms with shelves going from floor to ceiling on three sides, and a sliding door on the fourth side. It was a room of treasure for me, I would sometimes go in there as a little kid and stare at all the things in the little closet. Good times. I remember a container of Ninja Turtle glowing goo that the three-legged turtle mentioned in my July 24th dream below could be dipped into to get the ability to glow in the dark, that container was stored up on the right side shelf as I entered, far higher than I could ever reach. It was mostly pointless anyway because dipping the turtle into the goo once was enough for the turtle to then glow for years. I don’t think we ever subjected the poor thing to what must surely have been radioactive nuclear fallout more than once.

I also remember a stack of chits that dad had in there, as part of his motorcycle courier job, that he would use to give to clients for proof of payment or as a receipt I guess. Those were within reach, and I remembered once when I was really angry with him after a fight, I wandered into the room, saw a stack of unused chits on the shelf on the side, and put the tiniest of rips into the bottom edges of the rectangular, pink papers, as though that would somehow invalidate the chits. The tears were maybe an inch long at most, probably less, whereas the chits themselves were about the size of A5 paper. That was about the extent of my rebellious nature at whatever age I was at the time of that event (sometime between 5 and 8 years old).

On the flip side, I have no memories of that couch at all. None! I also have no memories of why we would have had two phones at that stage of our family. I don’t remember more than one phone line, until much, much later when we got a second line for the fax and modem. Those things weren’t household items in 1987, though.

Things I am thankful for this week
  1. My optometrist, for catching this alleged glaucoma thing early enough that I can just use eyedrops and hopefully avoid whatever problems might come from it later. At least my dad, if not both my parents, have had to have eye surgery and Dad might still be losing his vision in a few years, and I can’t imagine living in a world without light.
  2. That I have been lucky thus far to have never, ever, had anyone I was directly in contact with pass away, as far as I am aware. Basically in my “first degree of separation” in terms of social connections. I have never had an family member, even in my large extended family, pass away (that I was aware of/close to at least) while I was in Singapore, and this is true for everyone I’ve ever been directly in touch with in all my schools, and online. I have had both school and online acquaintances pass away months to years after I stopped speaking to them though, particularly a young girl that I got to know through Neopets for several months, but in terms of odds, I know I’m pretty damned lucky that I’ve made it this far in life without having to directly deal with the grief of death. And I hope and plan that this continues for the foreseeable future. Please put down those flags.
  3. My ALPS Mountaineering Wavelength Blanket. I bought this thing for my Jasper camping trip in September 2019, as temperatures were going to drop to near freezing overnight and I didn’t have a blanket that I could actually bring along. But it’s been so good and comfortable that when my actual blanket at home became too torn and frazzled to use any longer, I instead just used this one and have loved it ever since. It’s the right level of warm in the middle without being too warm, while the fabric itself remains nicely cool until actually touching your body. It’s just a joy to slip under and sleep under at night, especially if I also leave the balcony door open or something so that the room interior itself is a little cooler than the regular room temperature, and I seldom feel overly hot to the point that I have to cast my blanket aside. And best of all, thanks to the nylon material, I don’t get static electricity shocks from this blanket at all, unlike my previous one. It cost $90 when I picked it up from Amazon back then and I have since found it to be an excellent buy!
  4. Bag tags. One of the things I pulled out last week during spring-cleaning was a tiger tail from McNally, my high school, that I used to attach to and carry around on my bag. I have several other bag tags that rotate hanging from my current bag of choice (not all at once, of course), ranging from anime characters to food to lucky charms to random other keychains, and I like this aspect of personalizing my bag and showcasing little snippets of my identity to the world. It’s one of the things I look for when I look for new bags — a place to hang things. Anyway, that tiger tail is now hanging from my bag as well, about 20 years after I first acquired it.
  5. Distant construction noises. I suppose this is a type of aesthetic, and obviously construction noises too close to your house is really annoying and frustrating, however I absolutely love the sound of distant construction noises! It kind of gives me the feeling that I am not alone in the world, and is a reminder that the world is moving on whether I like it or not. But at the same time, I also hearken back to my Singapore childhood days. Because so many people reside in such a compact area in Singapore HDB flats, and so many flats are often clumped near each other as well, it wasn’t uncommon to hear construction noises in the afternoon, and for me this turned into a “lazy days of summer” sort of aural symbol. I did get to hear some of this this summer, and I enjoyed it very much.

    As a sidenote, every city in the world has a joke that one of the seasons in the city is “construction season”, and both Singapore and Edmonton were like that too, but the difference is that with Singapore, there’s a lot of construction because development is constant and quick, an area can easily look nothing like it used to look within a span of 10 years or so. In Edmonton, however, it’s construction season all the time because the construction here is the slowest in the world and a single building going up can easily take upwards of 5 years. Not to mention our train system’s expansion speed, which is disgracefully slow.
Dreams

I had a mix between shorter and longer dreams this week. Of particular interest to me was the 2nd dream on July 20th, as well as the dream on July 21st, since both of those dreams involved revisiting one of many recurring dream places that are a construct of my dream imagination. Parts of my dream world!

And then there’s the Jul 25th dream, which might be the longest dream journal entry I’ve ever written, and yet basically was all about the same topic in three separate dream sessions. I also made a couple dream friends and then lost them to consciousness.

Jul 19 2021
  • I was part of a group of people defending an underground laundromat against robots, we did this at least twice, with some time in between the two attempts. The first time I was kind of blindly following the group, but by the second time I knew what to do. The first part had us defend the main room, then half of us ran out, surrounded, and attacked some boss to get a key. I was a healer and ran out the 2nd time to help keep the tank alive (I could locate him in the mass by targetting the boss and using target forwarding to get his target).
  • Then we ran back in and down underground, where there were three crypt rooms with one sarcophagus in each, and we had to locate a silver lich crown or something that was sitting on the floor. I had already seen where the crown was, in the middle room on the ground, so I told the rest of the group that as they ran down.
  • There were also little crystal crowns on the floor that were some sort of currency and I took one.
  • At one point there was also an actual laundry room, where I went in with a basket of clothes and saw two women discussing something related to my dream on the other end of the room while I tried to figure out how the laundry machine in front of me worked. They told me there was a plug I had to plug in, but it was already plugged in since the washing machine was divided into two halves that two separate people could use, and the other half was already in use. A fourth woman came in as I was trying to figure out the machine too, and I asked her if the little metal tub on top of the machine was where I put in the clothes, she said yes.
  • At another point, I was taking a bus ride. Looking at a map book to look at the bus route, I saw markers on the map for where Seo was living, as well as Eileen not too far away from him, both a little ways out of town. I drew a little route on the map from the nearby city down toward them, as though planning a visit.
  • Steffy also appeared in my dream somewhere around here, with an apology about always being silent and never speaking up in Discord because she lacked some sort of capability to do so.
  • There was a scene where for some reason we had a look at the countdown of the Earth to its last few centuries of life, where the last survivor of humanity was wiped out at least 300 years before the end of the Earth, and it was already very hot then with lots of lava bursting forth from the crust and covering the land, even the poles where the last person had fled to.
  • Finally, there was a scene at the very end of the dream where I was invited onto a game show being televised live as well as watched by a ring of audience above and back from the stage, that reminded me of the stages from the Show by Rock anime. Anyway it was hosted by a guy and a girl friend that I knew, and the guy mentioned that he had invited me here to display two of my skills. Firstly they had me sing something, then secondly he said he wanted to show the world my duplication powers if I was okay with it, as it was a “normal” world and yet I had this supernatural power.
  • I didn’t really want to show it at first as it was an overall source of trouble, because aliens were constantly hunting me down over the power to try to destroy me. But the girl host then chimed in with the exact line, “The aliens already know about you, but we want to fantasize about you too”, referring to how it would give humanity hope against them and how that was important. So I agreed, the camera moved up into the sky to cover more of the stage at once, I clenched my fists at my side and concentrated, and formed a second copy of myself a few feet ahead of me.
Jul 20 2021

Dream 1:

  • I was playing some top-down game that involved skills that I could pick and choose from a list to equip, but each one costs points and I had a lower max points total than other people due to the flexibility of being able to choose my own skills.
  • Most of the game took place around a T-junction road with really busy traffic, but I could pause the game and inspect the passing vehicles in pause mode to see its stats.
  • There was a specific bench I could go to and sit down upon as part of the game for some reason.
  • Later on, I ended up on some sort of game show involving the hosts giving me a scenario where an NPC was within melee range of my character, and asking me to pick one of three skills I could research or use in that situation.
  • There was something about how I needed to be on 40 shows in order to trigger an Ultimate skill of some kind, and there were plans for me to get my own show to achieve this. It would be called Ao Kagetsu and have something to do with penguins.
  • Editor: Ao Kagetsu roughly means Blue Months. At least in the context of this dream. It’s odd and interesting when my dreams, which are still mostly in English, sometimes switch languages.

Dream 2:

  • I was in some sort of game city, half living my life with people I knew from Singapore and online mixed in, and half being chased and doing delivery quests of some kind.
  • I remember a scene where I was lined up at a food place and being harassed by some boys behind me, with one person using some rolled up piece of paper to poke at my thighs through the back of my skirt. I had with me ingredients for a special sort of burger that I would be giving to the women on the other side of the deli counter once I reached the front of the line because my doctor had said I couldn’t eat regular kinds of meat, and so these ingredients were specially sourced for my sickness. The boys had asked me what was in the bag, and they returned it but started their mild harassment once I told them.
  • I was also with two kids that were slightly younger than me, a boy and a girl, that I had met on my delivery activities, and they were lined up in front of me as well and helped protect me from those boys.
  • Once I reached the front of the line, I gave the bag that I was carrying, which basically contained an uncooked burger, to the deli woman, who processed it. She tried to put together some side dishes to make a complete meal too, and asked if I wanted orange juice or orange tips for dessert. I mistook orange tips as the entire orange and said an orange would be great, but it turns out that orange tips were basically orange juice as well, you just drank the juice from the tips of the orange instead of from a tetra-pak, and instead of consuming the actual orange.
  • Later on, on one of the delivery quests, I was chased around a bit and then hid from my enemies/opponents in a room with another girl I knew who had arrived there first but had fallen asleep on a desk. Once the game was over, I chatted with her a bit.
  • Apparently we were located in Japan and I knew of a South Korean festival that was going to take place soon in a shopping mall area that I had visited in another dream a long time ago, and that I wanted to revisit. I invited her along if she wanted to come since it was just nearby.
  • I also met the family of the boy and girl that I was in line with earlier, they were a cohort unit of 5, led by a Korean grandma and topped off at the other end by a young, adopted boy from the Dominican Republic. I asked the two kids that I knew about visiting Korea with me as well, they told me to ask Grandma, and so I did.
  • I pulled out a brochure for the event in Korean that I couldn’t read but had a picture on it. She could read it though so I showed it to her. I also told her that I had been there before, so I could be everyone’s guide. I knew that there was a really nice and cheap motel next to the place that we could stay at, and then the shopping mall area was two or three levels high and contained nice shops like a posh tea and juice shop with cats roaming around in it. There was lots of shopping that could be done as well.
  • The main impediment would be cost, per person it was cheap enough but they would be a family of five. I also invited people on Discord to come, Rinuruc was online and he calculated the cost to be about $300 per person for the family of five I was talking with to go. I remember Trinstar being online too even though it was a weird time of the night back home, but she didn’t say anything. Anyway, the price to visit Korea from Japan was individually cheap, but it would be $1500 for them and they didn’t really have a breadwinner earning the family any cash. Still, the grandma thought about it a bit and then said it was fine, and the kids cheered.
  • Editor: Here’s a snippet from Sep 19 2019 referring to the same mall, although it refers to even earlier instances that I don’t think are recorded within the journal. But the peculiar thing is that these are also the only two diary entries in my entire dream journal, stretching from Aug 2016 until today, that mention tetra-paks.
  • I visited a Japan-Korea city with some people I knew, our first day was spent in some sort of mall area where we were staying or part-time working or something. It was a two storey mall and each floor was a walkway in the shape of a square that looped back onto itself with shops on the outside of the ring.
  • On the second day, I went out to the south, then west, looking for (and finding) a holiday inn + mall + cafe type building that I had been to on my two previous trips to this region (like my previous RL Korea trips, though in-dream I played it off as 1 year ago and 4 years ago).
  • I went in to say hi to the proprietor lady on the second floor cafe, and spoke to her in Japanese to show her that I had learnt the language a little, and she helped correct me when I forgot a word.
  • I ordered a milk-honey drink that I had really enjoyed my last couple trips here. She remembered it too, and got a plastic tetra-pak for me from a public freezer like the ones you see at supermarkets holding frozen dinners.
Jul 21 2021
  • A vast amount of time was spent in a huge shopping mall in the middle of the city that I had both briefly been to and seen on the map in several other dreams before. It was just north of the river that ran through the middle of the city (mirroring Edmonton) and the city had an airport on the north side that had a direct flight to Vancouver. This time almost the entire dream involved walking around this mall though. Most people walked around in pairs, and I saw many other people that I knew, for example Huihan and Eileen, walking with other people. I travelled with Tigey, whom Eileen wanted to inspect at some point.
  • I don’t remember many of the events in the mall, although one of the other pairs I remember was a little Russian girl and her little brother. The girl had two hairties that formed cute little pigtails, and could spin the flower on one of them to instantly transform into a costume. Most of the people had a skill that took 1 turn they could use to change their costume in a normal non-magical way though, so that magic of hers wasn’t particularly useful, just pretty. Most of the visitors, especially the people I knew, also had a recall skill that would take them to a certain room/base in the mall.
  • I also remembered that for dinner, I wanted to visit a nearby restaurant that I had wanted to visit from previous dreams as well. I was much nearer to it than I was before, so I stepped outside the south exit of the mall to use the GPS on my phone. Outside, although it was night, I saw and wanted to take a picture of a beautiful background of a mountain looming in the distance. I was in a carpark though and there were too many stray trees around blocking the perfect picture.
  • There were also several other people in the carpark, a woman in a car waiting to pick her son up, and others just standing around. An ETS bus passed me, with its sign flashing a destination of a deli shop counter inside the mall. I checked the GPS for the shop I wanted to go to and it was quite close by to the northwest, but was still flagged as a 50 minute walk according to Google Maps. I could just recall back to them all afterwards though so I decided to do it.
Jul 22 2021
  • There was a group of buildings on a hillside that together formed a school. A road wound around the main building, and I followed Zixiang as we went along the road around the outside of the building from left to right, first going down the road, then up the other side, which involved steep elevation changes and a flight of stairs by the side of the road that we had to walk up. I was worried he wouldn’t have the energy to climb the stairs but he easily hopped up them. He was accepted by the equestrian program in the school and was turning in his eligibility extension application now that the pandemic was nearly over, since he had missed the first year due to staying home like everyone else.
  • At another point, I stood on the south entrance of this main building, and merged the building with another building that reached up to one diagonal square southeast of this south entrance on an overhead grid map. The two buildings became one, with the two corners (the south entrance and the square southeast of it that belonged to the other building) joining together on the overhead map. In real life, the main building now had an extra wing with a corridor linking the two buildings. The original school was a Junior High, but by merging the two buildings like this, I got its designation upgraded to a Senior High.
  • The south entrance was originally just a side entrance, but now that the buildings were merged it was in the middle of the two, so I moved the main entrance designation from the northwest entrance of the main building to the south one. I despawned some stools that were at the northwest entrance and brought two over to the southern (now central) entrance where there were space for 10 stools in a visitor’s waiting area between the door and a series of booths/kiosks behind a counter. I planned to duplicate the stools until there were 10 of them, but the stools turned out to be a little too short to comfortably use with the height of the counters.
  • In the building there was an area which was underneath a busy road that ran above the building, and you could hear cars while walking by that area. There were a bunch of alcoves set into the wall there as well, and each alcove had a bundle of firewood being sold for $50 a pop. The suggested buying amount was at least $200 in one go, and although there was a young man there acting as shop assistant, the real owner was an old man that was outside the building and across the road in a similar shop in another building.
  • There was also a swimming pool in the building, and the dream at some point involved swimming practice.
  • Snippet: Later on, I was a player on a newly former women’s soccer team that just finished playing its first game. I don’t remember much about it except that our goalkeeper was a short but hardworking, and rather bubbly, Vietnamese girl.
Jul 23 2021
  • I vaguely remember a school-like setting with contests of some kind between two teams, together with a carnival-like setting where the gate staff was giving away free potato perogies, they had over 400 on a tray to give out. There was a room where I could sign up for work of some sort, and at some point I met a person who had 400+ diary entries on their blog, although most of them were really short snippets or single pictures, so he was obviously padding his numbers.
  • Editor: All I can say about this is that it was definitely influenced by the Taste of Edmonton that I went to on the 22nd.
Jul 24 2021
  • Snippet: I was a hotel attendant, except the room I was trying to serve was accessed by a dimensional door located in the middle of a farmer’s field of some sort. The floating door led to room 401 or 404. The problem was that when I came back the next day, looking to enter and clean up the room, the door was nowhere to be found! I also remember having a number of skills I could add and remove, and could create new ones based on the situation by combining older skills in a way that was identical to mastery crafting in Troubleshooter, the game.
  • – Later on, I had a more complex dream about travelling back and forth between Calgary with friends. The dream started and was mostly based in Calgary, we were sitting around a living room table in the place we were staying in, listening to music, while preparing to travel back to Edmonton for some reason and then back to Calgary again. I left the room with a couple friend and we started walking toward the bus station, noting that the charter buses cost about $1500 to $2000 for a trip to Edmonton, although if we waited until 5pm there was one chartered bus that cost $5000 instead!
  • I realized at this point that I should actually pack up my entire travel bag and bring it back with us to Edmonton, because otherwise the return trip to Calgary would be extremely long somehow, so I apologized and dragged my entire group back to the room so that I could pack up my things. I also saw a toy turtle from childhood (that glowed in the dark and was missing one leg) on the floor in the room, I picked that up and put it in my bag as well so I wouldn’t lose it. We still left other possessions of ours here though as we would be back later. I left with my friends at this point, and we travelled to Edmonton and then back to Calgary (the dream kind of skipped over this travel part).
  • Once we returned to Calgary, we came back to our room through a series of other rooms where an event was taking place, first a kids’ event where fierce dogs were supposed to be guarding several rooms and were worth xp (and would respawn) if we killed them, but due to other people going through, most of them were already dead, except for one room where the two dogs were super friendly and were happily playing with a little kid. The aghast game attendant looking on apologised and said that the dogs would be replaced soon. The scene then shifted so that all the rooms turned into some sort of Disney-like adventure park, with entertainers and throngs of people walking to and from nowhere in particular. A photo event was activated by a staff member in an adjacent room, this briefly started up some blaring carnival music and drew everyone’s attention from all the rooms.
  • We went back to our private room through the adjoining door anyway, and I realized that I had left my water bottle here while packing my bag earlier. Thankfully, it was still here, so I picked it up and packed it away properly this time.
  • Someone who was going to join us was complaining mildly about having to drive us back to Edmonton next, he said that he should have proposed three options for the group, a “free” car ride that would be not much faster than walking there, a $15 car ride which would be a natural speed journey of 3-4 hours, and an $80 or so car ride which would convince him to break out his Porsche (it might have been a different fancy car). I said I wouldn’t actually mind paying $15 for my share of the ride.
  • Maciek also entered the room at some point, and he was dressed in a very revealing pink and purple superhero outfit with a fancy headpiece, a cloak, and a body suit that left part of his chest exposed, with a safety pin visibly protruding through his exposed left nipple in a way that was meant to be very fashionable. Everyone around me seemed to accept his presence no questions asked, until I asked him about his outfit, at which point everyone around me then seemed to find it weird. He said that his outfit was inspired by a character in a roleplay story that he was writing with an Internet friend, and she had written in this superhero character that he really liked, so he chose to cosplay as that character. He even gave the name of the character and explained its meaning, though I don’t remember what the name was now, except that I think it was a short and normal female name.
  • Editor: That formerly-glowing three-legged-turtle is still sitting on my plushie shelf. A relic from childhood.
Jul 25 2021
  • Editor: Each dream here was typed out in its entirety after I woke up, before I went back to bed and had the next dream. So even though they’re all about the weird dream life of an exchange student, they’re all actually three entirely separate dream sessions in basically three different schools/campuses.

Dream 1

  • The dream’s plot revolved around a school election. I was an acquaintance of someone I admired running for election, this person looked like Kaman, one of the two girls from Singapore who had stayed with our family in 4012 for a year as an exchange student. We actually had different partners near the start of the dream, but she had forced a partner swap through some sort of trickery, and abandoned both her current partner and my current partner at a train station while she got me to board the train with her and take off without our respective partners. Once we were on board the train, she told me that wanted to form a new partnership and wanted me to help her with her campaign because I had helped her save some of her family’s precious art pictures from our other friends, who were apparently unscrupulous art dealers or wanted to profit off of them/her.
  • As the train took off, she told me to get some sleep because it was a long journey across different time zones. I noted that it was too early in the day to sleep, but she said that even though it was just noon (3pm at our destination), we would be arriving at 8pm (11pm at our destination) and she needed me to be at top form once we arrived.
  • The day and night must have been switched, however, for the train arrived right on schedule at an airport that was also a school, right at the start of the school day. Her goal was to get into the airport and to class, where she was a lecturer for a class that I was taking, while also preparing for a trip back to her home country as well as the results of the student election. She also told me that she’d find time to draw a new painting and that my family could have it. It wouldn’t be an official painting of hers so it wouldn’t be valuable enough to steal.
  • As the train was arriving at the station, I noticed both her old partner and my old partner, as well as three other acquaintances of mine from Singapore, running after the train, planning on catching her/us once we alighted from the train. I told all this to her and told her to run along first once the train arrived, and that I would distract them. She did so, and I ended up hiding from them on the other side of the train station. I eventually made a public commotion to raise awareness for my friend’s campaign, and recruited one of the three old friends from Singapore, who recruited the other two that had temporarily joined our old partners to vote for my friend because I convinced them that she had moral fiber or something like that. I also recruited other random students that were arriving at the station to head into the school for classes, and so was bringing with me at least a last minute swing vote of about 20 people into the school.
  • The dream turned into a kind of race where we had to run up the path from the station to the school and past the finish line which was our school front gate, in order to cast our vote. The path up was littered with traps from “the enemy”, which were things like badly written flyers with typos on them and odd things scribbled onto paper and taped onto the ground, trying to trick us into invalidating our votes. I noted to myself that that wouldn’t work on anyone except maybe first year international students who had never been through the process before and couldn’t understand English properly or didn’t understand the society/culture and why those things were obviously fake.
  • I ran by all those things, past the 180 degree bend in the path, and to the school gate where she was waiting there. I registered my vote with the male teacher at the gate, then ran to her and embraced her and wished her the best of luck. I thought that she’d be doing better and maybe I’d be the tying vote or the vote that let her take the lead, but instead she was actually behind by about 100 votes or so, a tiny margin of students.
  • The scene then shifted to her lecture hall that she was teaching before she would be catching the plane and leaving the country. Rick from work was there at the back of the hall, acting as her boss, and she was busy explaining to the class that she was conceding the election because she had an agreement with Rick that even though the election results would continue to trickle in for 3 days or so, she would only be able to count the results up until 2 or 3 hours after class started that day since she was leaving the country afterwards. Thanks to my help her deficit was shrinking, and it had gone from about 100 to slightly less than 50 at the time, but it wasn’t immediately enough, and even though she was projected to possibly win if the race was stretched out to its usual length due to all the people who had not voted, she needed to fly off instead.
  • The dream then started to jump around here. First I remember visiting a really large media tent that the school newspaper and school radio ran from, and looking at the rules and regulations pasted on the inner roof of the white tent. By visiting the tent, one could get a run down of news without waiting for the newspaper or radio show the next day, so it was kind of like getting a sneak preview.
  • The regulations pasted on the roof of the tent had lists of what “advance information” people were allowed to take out of the tent and talk about outside of the newspaper, and election results were one of the things that were OK. Visitors could also quote things like the name of the school, the name of the newspaper, the nature of their own visit, etc. There was also a long list of things that could not be mentioned outside of the tent, if one visited the tent to find out the hot news and then wanted to talk about the things they heard about before the newspaper was published. This included people’s names, the actual contents of stories that hadn’t been published yet, and other things like that.
  • Also specifically banned was a statement representing the media tent saying that something that could not normally be shared could actually be shared this one time. I realized that several people must have tried to pretend that they had been given the OK to break a news embargo on a particular topic in the past, even though nearly all the students knew about the media tent’s regulations.
  • Next, the scene shifted so I was back in the lecture hall, but this time a large student council was in session and I was running for one of the empty positions. There were actually two empty positions that I could apply for, and I was running for a general council one but also had mentioned to the president that if no one ran for the class representative for my class then I would be happy to apply for that too. A future conflict of interest question came to mind where I figured I’d be asked during the speech rally why I seemed wishy-washy by wanting to apply for two positions, as though I were just applying for jobs because I just wanted any old one to get my name on the council, instead of focusing on the one actual position that I wanted to run for. I prepared my answer, which was that I actually did want to focus on one, but was willing to sacrifice my wishes if needed as a courtesy to ensure that my class would not be unrepresented in the council, and that I had informed the president of my reasoning when I submitted a notice of interest for the other position too.
  • Finally, the scene then shifted again to a hypothetical future scene where I was in what looked like a classroom in Dunman High. I was in Dunman’s (female) student uniform too, and was seated near the front of the class. I knew the scene wasn’t real, but I saw Kaman walking by the class that was in progress and looking for me after returning from overseas, and I left my seat and ran out of the class (much to the consternation of the teacher and the amusement of fellow students) to give her a big hug.

Dream 2

  • This time, I was studying in Japan, and I was with a few other study abroad friends, as well as a Japanese girl that was either good friends with me or assigned to be my buddy/guide. I basically took all my classes with all of them, and most of the dream took place in English.
  • Even though we shared most classes, we still had to move between different classrooms, although we had a homeroom and I left most of my textbooks in there in a pile along with other non-school related books between classes. I noticed at least one other student looking at my pile with interest but we didn’t talk.
  • At the start of the school day at one point, Dad came into the room where I was sleeping to talk to me, but it was 3am and he hadn’t realized this at first. This woke me up and I was having trouble falling back asleep and so was thinking of cutting classes that day since I was tired (but not overly so) and wanted an excuse to avoid an English Literature test later in that day based on some poem I hadn’t read. I chose not to skip, however.
  • I was good friends with my Japanese student guide as I sat beside her in all my classes. I really admired her. At one point, we had meals together, and I helped her to do something with making sushi rolls and chopping them up. There were also other people, perhaps younger kids, that were waiting for us to finish preparing the meal.
  • At another point, she absently handed me her pencil after a class, and I blinked in surprise. She also blinked in surprise, then ahh’d, and said that I probably wasn’t familiar with this custom. She said that it was a thing between friends in Japan that at the end of a class, instead of keeping away all their stationary, they’d give a pen or pencil to their friend, and could I guess why.
  • I realized that this was an intimate gesture of friendship because you would see the person in the next class as well, so trading pens was a tacit show of trust that they would find their way safely and properly to the next class, together with your pen which you needed in order to successfully finish the class. It was basically saying a combination of “I trust that you will be there for me.” and “I want to see you/sit next to you again.” She said that I was correct! And we headed to our next class.
  • The class after that was Japanese literature for her and we traded pens again, but then she stopped and said that this wouldn’t work because I wasn’t actually in my next class. Mine was the English literature class, the one I wanted to skip. I suggested that maybe as an exchange student I might be kind of signed up for both and could pick which literature class I wanted to join, but she shook her head and said that she actually did ask her professor if exchange students were allowed in the Japanese Lit class, but the answer was no. She also showed me her timetable, and said that next year she would be in her final grade, and the Japanese Literature classes were replaced with a seminar that she would need to complete for graduation, and obviously exchange students wouldn’t have to do something like that either (since we were only here for a year at a time).
  • Anyway I nodded and we separated, promising to reconvene (and trade pens again) after the literature classes. I was a bit worried about not knowing nor having had the time to Google up the poem, but figured that I would probably do well on the test anyway since classes in Japan were significantly easier than Canada or Singapore, especially the English classes for exchange students.

Dream 3

  • Much later on, in an entirely separate dream session, I graduated from school. On my bus ride to the University to pick up the papers, the bus route had changed because a bus stop in the University had closed, so the bus driver had to drop me at a bus stop that was just after my usual bus stop in the University campus. This altered stop was next to the office that I had to visit to pick up my graduation papers though, so I didn’t mind that at all.
  • The entire campus in this dream was basically deserted, or at least devoid of students, since school was apparently out. I received my graduation papers from a staff member, and as an exchange student these papers were a bunch of stuff printed on six looseleaf doublesided pages with the University letterhead, and which as a transgendered individual, contained multiple references to both my old and new name and gender.
  • The strangest part of the graduation papers was that it also came with a receipt of my last lunch meal that I had ordered from Hohos, the Chinese food store in my RL University’s mall, as well as a number of fields that had to do with food, for example listings where they listed my favourite/most eaten food and whether it had an effect on my studies or not.
  • I brought the receipt and the certificate down to the Chinese food place to show them and see if they had any idea where the person that filled this in got the information (or the receipt) from. No students were around so the store was closed, but one of the attendants was eating at the table in front of the closed stall, so I went to sit across from her and struck up a conversation with her, asking if it was okay if I asked her some questions. She said sure but the stall was closed so if I was going to order any food, she wouldn’t be able to sell anything to me.
  • I told her about my report card and showed her my papers, though I tried to find a section that didn’t include my old name or gender, but did include info about the food, which turned out to be the 5th page of the sheaf of papers. This page basically listed the noodles that I had ordered on the receipt earlier in the same dream, as my “favourite food’, along with a “food effect” that I would have gained from that dish. There was also a vegetables/grains box and a third box of some kind, and both of those were unfilled.
  • Two of the other attendants also wandered over curiously and soon all of them were looking with puzzlement at the papers. They said that no one had ever approached them to get this information and this made no sense anyway since whatever you ate wouldn’t affect your studies on a dish-to-dish basis.

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