Do you like your new friend? I like your new friend!
Entry #045 (Mar 20 2022)
Table of Contents
ට Plushie of the Week #43
ට Song of the Week #20
ට Memory Snippet of the Week #27
My MLP program is over! We had our final presentation this week (a 5-10 minute quick overview of the scrapbook that we did) per group, and a survey at the end that I didn’t mince my words on. It was partly very critical of one of the two coordinators — the one in charge of the UAlberta students’ half of the program — abandoning the program and leaving her job very early on, causing our side to flounder and several students to just up and leave the program and causing the other coordinator to have to do double duty to cover her. The other coordinator, Heather, was awesome however. And the program in general was awesome too.
It was only the second time this Multicultural Learning Pods program was run by the University, and I would definitely recommend it once it gets more organized. I got so many new perspectives, or as I mentioned in the survey, more “lenses”, to examine my history and my current experiences through. All that stuff based around Edward T. Hall’s Primary Messaging Systems that we examined was pretty neat (although I’m not sure if it warranted 21 weeks of meetings). Those are valuable tools that I’ll take with me going forward, for my blog writing if nothing else.
My last thing really left this semester (besides like 3 more Wednesday afternoons of haiku classes) is a final paper I have to write an outline for, do a brief presentation on, and then actually write. Argh. I more or less have a topic and even almost a thesis statement now though, I just need to hammer it down into a proper shape and the writing should flow fairly easily.
One of my teammates is going back to school as well in Fall, perhaps partially inspired by me, as I believe he indicated, which is cool. He applied a couple weeks ago with the eye that he’ll be doing the same thing — working full time and taking 0-2 courses every semester and slowly working on a sociocultural anthropology degree, which is also cool!
Besides that, work this week, similar to the last few weeks, has been quiet, as I do my work in the mornings, attend a team meeting just before lunch, and then let everything sit and simmer the rest of the day to work on my paper or do chores or something while keeping an eye on chat and tickets to see if anything needs an update. Though we still have the occasional snow shower in the forecast, Wednesday next week seems to be the first week where the forecasted high is over 10 degrees Celsius, which is my personal watermark for declaring that spring is here! (It doesn’t always work in our godforsaken weather, but close enough since we’re in the middle of March now.) All the snow is already gone, so neighbourhood walks during work time (or in the evenings) will soon be back on the menu.
Sunlife processed my Personal Spending Account benefit claim wrongly last week, only giving me 20% of what I had asked for, so I had to resubmit a number of invoices to them as receipts so they could take another 5 days to process it. What a pain. Thankfully i did it early enough that all that will still come in before the Mar 31 deadline.
And lastly, I tentatively took Monday off work in order to work on my final paper for my EASIA 441 Haiku class, but I told my boss that I might end up coming in if I manage to get a substantial amount of it done before Monday anyway, so we shall see. I don’t like borrowing against my time off work, I’d rather take from my vacation time since I barely get sick while working from home and might not be here the full year anyway to make use of it all (though I said this last year, too..)
My biggest life events this week are listed in other categories, so I’m not even really sure what would fit in Life this week, which is more of a catch-all category for everything else, unless you consider new food that I tried buying or making or something like that. If so, here’s some loose leaf tea, some nameless sauted-cabbage-and-meat stew-like dish I tried making without really following a recipe but which turned out nice anyway, some carrot cake Oreos, and even some actual carrot cake, because apparently my Discord friends want my opinion on how they compared to the classical Singapore-style fried carrot cake dish, which is an entirely different thing with a similar name. That fried version is yummy and savoury, these ones are far too sweet and creamy for my liking, especially the Oreos, which were very hard to eat.. the spice taste in them was very strong. I don’t have a sweet tooth, so I like neither of these, and will likely never be buying them again. I think my friends are trying to kill me through diabetes.
It turned out I didn’t have a strainer or infuser or whatever for that loose leaf tea which I bought last week, so I had to buy one from Amazon. I then remembered that I had gotten a $20 CAD Amazon gift card a couple weeks ago from filling in some survey or other, which was nice — it financed this tea strainer and a notebook that I wanted.
I did go down to the University library again this week, and snapped the picture of this week’s survey board.
Spring is nearly here, so I’ve started to go out more (even if its just for school-related or grocery-related reasons), and I do kind of like seeing big pools of water everywhere this time of year. Walking home becomes an obstacle course! Albeit not one that makes you slip and fall and hurt yourself if you step on the wrong spot. Just get your shoes a little bit wet!
Talking about transient things like pools of melted ice water, the Akebi-chan anime that I really like delivered possibly its best episode yet this week, it’s 11th of 12 total episodes, and I am sad because by the time I write this blog article next week, the show will have finished its glorious run and I will no longer be able to look forward to the next weekend to catch another new episode. I will continue to happily plug the show as being exactly what I want from a nichijou-kei (slice of life) and iyashikei (healing) anime show though. More so than even other works that share similar themes that I’ve seen, and I think I have seen the majority of them at this point.
I also contacted Singapore this week because I still haven’t got an official letter from them that I’m waiting for, that they were supposed to send me in February, but they told me to wait another month because “Singapore (COVID) cases (have been) five figures daily since Chinese New Year” And wow, I checked and their rates are insanely high right now.
Although death rates are thankfully not crazy-high to match, apparently nearly half (local) the number of total COVID-19 cases since the pandemic started has happened in the last month. And they recently crested 1 million cases — the population is only 5.6 million.
And finally, have a Pocket article (local) from Stylist that I consider one of the most important articles that I’ve ever read on the platform (and that Firefox shoves in my face now on its “Recommended by Pocket” feed every few months, as though it feels the need to constantly remind me of its existence.) But seriously, all five parts now partially govern what I do and how I approach life. It’s one of the reasons I started the blog and also one of the reasons I eventually reached out to my old Singaporean classmates last year.
I 100%’d all the Steam achievements on Atelier Ryza this week, as a sort of tribute to it. It ended up taking a couple more days to do, because while I had completed the base game, it was a close fight, and there were optional bosses that I needed to kill in order to get all the remaining achievements. To do that, I checked a couple guides and saw instructions on how to break the game via crafting, which seems to be an Atelier game series thing to do in general.. so I set to work and broke the game, crafted a bunch of really powerful gear, and then went in and smashed a few optional boss faces for the 100%. Good stuff.
I then took a bit of a break, before deciding that my next game would be Tales of Arise, as the base game was 40% off on another site despite being relatively new. I had completed and loved Tales of Berseria in the past, it was my only Tales series game but I hold it in quite high regard, even though the combat system is so complex and indecipherable that when I looked back at people talking about it, I have no idea at all what the hell they’re mumbling about. I would probably have to re-learn everything from scratch if I ever went back to that game for any reason.
How was Tales of Arise then? So far, the maps are largely linear, with a couple more open-field-like areas, but all of which are also fairly small and only have just two or three exits each. Combat is complex, and the party member AI isn’t the best, and likes to walk into attacks and die, but it has its moments where it completely outfoxes the opponent AI, I was witness to a strange fight when my character was dead and I was watching one of my AI team members, the melee character, take on a berserker while he had exactly 1 health left and the berserker had full health, and win the battle after a minute of chipping away at its health just because the berserker AI only ever kept swiping at him in a way that the melee AI could somehow always time a dodge for. I also am playing on Hard difficulty, and managed to basically kite the first boss to death as the melee character while my ranged AI teammate chipped away at him. That might be oversimplifying the fight a bit, since it was a pretty epic fight still, but my way of completing it felt.. unintentional.
I’ve gotten into more of a rhythm as I’ve continued playing and unlocked my third character though, so the game’s not bad.. but it hasn’t gripped me yet either the way that Berseria did, although Berseria too didn’t grip me until midgame, and I’m still only in the early game of Arise. There’s definitely the sense of an epic adventure still yet waiting to unfold, and I haven’t even gathered my entire party yet (Tales games always give you 6 characters in your party, 3 male and 3 female), so it should be interesting when everyone comes together. I do like that, from my brief experience with Tales games, some/most of the characters in the party will hate each other to start due to completely different ideologies, and eventually come together and become somewhat friendly with each other in the end.
I haven’t (been able to) completely immerse myself in the game or anything like that though since I still have a paper to write. Hopefully in the next few days i’ll have put a sizable dent into that.
Plushie of the Week #43 – Nameless Tiger
So, something awesome happened this week. I opened my mailbox and there was an envelope with a stuffed tiger in it. It was a birthday present from Singapore, although it arrived a little late. That’s not a worry at all though! His official birthday is Mar 15 2022, since that’s when he arrived in my apartment and met Tigey. I believe this gift is from Huihan, though there’s no clear return address, just a note that seems to be signed “Han”, and she hasn’t actually replied to my email to confirm this as of time of writing… I don’t think anyone else there actually has my address though. If this is wrong, I’ll update once I find out who sent it. (2023 edit: This was right.)
As you’ll see in the pictures behind, this is a larger, newer version of Tigey! Apparently Esso is still making various tiger plushies to entertain new generations of young Singaporeans. I love this little guy, though right now he’s stiff enough that he can only lie on his front or back, and can’t quite adopt a seated position like Tigey can. Tigey isn’t quite sure what to make of him yet either, he’s a little jealous, but they’re largely cordial for now. He’s nice and grippable around the middle and reminds me of a spanner too. He also needs a name. Will Huihan name him? Or will one of my other friends? Or will Tigey and I?
Here’s what he looked like when he arrived, once I removed him from the outer envelope:
He was still sealed, so I removed him from the bag and scanned the bag:
And took pictures of him. Face:
Tag front. He’s the Tiger of Wealth!
Tigey size comparison 1:
Tigey size comparison 2:
Tigey size comparison 3:
It also came with a gift tag, which I’ve scanned as follows. Front:
This wasn’t part of the plushie bag though, it was separately slotted into the envelope.
Song of the Week #20
Title: To Love You More
Artist: Celine Dion
Album: Falling Into You (1995)
According to its Wikipedia page, this song was a huge hit in Japan. That’s interesting, I never knew that. I always thought this song, my favourite Celine Dion song, was a random side single of hers that was overshadowed by other significantly more popular hits in her discography. Apparently my tastes align with the country I am very interested in experiencing at some point in my life, though.
To Love You More is an amazing song to my ears. I love the violin and her vocals and the progression and how it all blends together. Although a little bit earlier than the bulk of 1997-1998 English songs that fill up a good portion of my top 100 list, this one hangs in my top 20, and used to be well inside my top 10, although my associations with this song are more Canada focused than Singapore, which means that I only really began to love this song around the 2000-2003 timespan or so.
In particular, back around 2003 and during a period of my gaming era where I was playing online multiplayer games but had not yet dabbled into MMOs (which I only started around 2007), I was big into roleplay as a form of escapism from being transgendered, and thus I tried my hand at dreaming up and playing characters across a number of fantasy worlds in Telnet-based MUDs and similar servers, making friends and drifting on as the tide willed. This particular song reminds me of a MUD (I use this term loosely, the correct catch-all term is technically MU*) that I was on where I was roleplaying a character enrolled in a school, and specifically in a sorority attached to said school. My character’s name was Lyssia, a bespectacled and rather innocent girl, and I was a junior pledge to a senior sorority sister named Celine. The link from here should be obvious — the character shared the same name as the singer, Celine Dion, and one way or another this song stood out from her catalogue as the song that would become the anthem of our friendship for me, as some of us players had our characters spend so much time together that all their players also more or less became friends.
I don’t remember most of the other characters in the dorm, but I do remember another elder sorority sister being named Bobbie-Sue, though I didn’t know her well. I remember a Joy that I didn’t know well as well, she was a fellow pledge that year. My closer group included Celine, and there was a Chanteuse and a Vanessah that I was friends with in the sorority as well. I do remember a couple guy characters in the larger context of the school too, but overall it wasn’t a very big place. I won’t name the MUD, as I need something to verify anyone who ever pops up and claims to be one of those characters. The sorority was Sigma Iota Nu though, since it was playfully meant to abbreviate into SIN, but it’s not any of the ones I’ve been able to Google up. The place was small (and membership count low) enough that I also got to know a couple staff members and ended up doing a bit of coding for the server and school, which was a neat experience, but I’m guessing that the entire school RP place has long since closed down.
Anyway, everyone eventually drifted on, especially once Celine’s player left, since she anchored our roleplay by virtue of being our virtual elder sister. I remember being sad as I listened to the song once everyone had drifted on. I Drove All Night, also by Celine Dion, was another song that I linked to this group of folks, but not as much, and I don’t nearly like that song as much anyway. I did also end up playing Diablo 2 with one of the players behind the characters after we moved on from that RP server, which I believe had pretty much died out once we left, and I even bought him a spare copy of the Diablo 2 expansion pack that I saw on sale in a second-hand thrift store, and offered to mail it to him as he didn’t have the expansion pack, but he refused. I don’t recall if he bought it himself afterwards, or if we just drifted apart after that, but I did eventually end up with two copies of Diablo 2 as well as 2 copies of its expansion pack, Lord of Destruction, partly due to this incident.
I wonder if good school RP places still exist around the internet these days. I enjoyed the roleplay because most people tended to type at least a paragraph of 4-5 lines per pose, and it was a good way to practice my English writing skills as well as imagination while growing up, while slow enough (especially in scenes with many people, since you’d take turns writing actions (aka posing)) that it didn’t necessarily consume your entire night if you had to work on things on the side.
But most of all, I wonder who the people behind the characters were, and how they are doing these days. Would we even have anything in common if they were to suddenly pop up and say hi to me? Would it be really awkward? Would we reminiscence about old times? Are they even alive?
Memory Snippet of the Week #27
I bought these little packets of milk from one of the local Asian supermarkets a couple weeks ago since they were on sale, and this got me thinking of milk cartons in general and my history with them.
A couple memories resulted from this. Starting with the two smaller ones:
Firstly, in my first primary school, Peiying, I’m pretty sure that for at least a couple years, we were given milk packets of around the same size during recess break to go with our meal, as part of a free milk program of some kind. I distinctly remember vanilla or chocolate milk options, at least, at some point in my early school life, that my parents had to pay for, and I don’t think it was kindergarten, so that’s honestly the only other choice it could have been.
Secondly, in Singapore, when I was young, my parents used to buy soya bean milk (not real “milk”, but close enough) from hawker centres, and they would come in these little plastic “dabao” (takeaway) bags, instead of cups, with a noose at the top and a straw you could slot into the bag to drink from. There isn’t much mention of them on the Internet any more, especially outside of coffee, which I guess they were also used for, but I definitely used them for soya bean milk (also known locally as tau huay chui) as well. You can see an example of the bags in the top example of this blog (local picture), but they’re not something I’ve ever seen outside of the country.
And lastly, the whole milk and primary thing reminds me of school canteens! Also commonly known as school tuckshops. I don’t have any pictures of my Singapore school canteens, unfortunately, and they even blend together a bit in my mind because it’s been so long since I’ve been to them, but they’re essentially mini hawker centers, in a room with 2-3 walls open to the elements, and the fourth wall packed end to end with food and snack stalls of various cuisines, selling cheap food that students could buy and eat.
There was usually a couple stores selling each type of cuisine that you could find in Singapore — Chinese food, Malay food, Indian food, as well as a snacks and drink store, sometimes separate, and usually a bread store as well. I remember buying a big plate of fried noodles for 40 cents, and (I think) mee rebus and mee siam for 30 cents or so. Other dishes cost 25 or 35 cents. I remember some of the snacks they’d sell in school too, including haw flakes, Japanese dried seaweed strips, and more, though I didn’t often buy snacks. They only cost 5-10 cents each though.
As a frame of reference, out of the list on this blog (Wayback Machine — and next few links are local mirrors), I recognize: #03 (haw flakes), #08 (Wang Wang mini biscuits), #21 (White Rabbit candy, though I remember it more as a Chinese New Year snack), #23 (Ling Mong tablets.. this is a repressed memory, I never liked how the packaging looked), #32 (dried Nori seaweed), #39 (sour candy, not sure if this brand), #41 (Piring wafers), #48 (jelly cups), and #49 (ice pops). A few others, like the gem biscuits at #7, satay sticks at #10, and the Mr. Softee at #37, were known to me too, just not from school canteens specifically, and I’m sure if I looked at other lists I’d find other things I’ve forgotten about too, like these Wang Wang crackers (local) that you can get in the west, too. It’s funny though how many of those snack names I never knew, since I never really ever spent money on most of them.
Anyway, snacks and candy aside, the rest of the canteen/tuckshop outside of the stalls consisted of long tables with long benches put side by side with each other, and students would bring their tray of food and sit down wherever they wanted, usually with friends, to eat lunch during recess break. People who brought their own snacks would often go along too, though there were other things to do around the school too. After school, you could sometimes find people seated at the canteen tables and benches waiting for friends while reading or doing homework or something, although it wasn’t the most popular waiting spot. Clubs, particularly the uniformed groups and sports groups, would sometimes hang around the tables nearest the grass fields too.
You can see examples of school canteens here. I tried tracking down my specific school canteens, but… well.
My Primary 1-3 school was Peiying, and I found this video (with canteen at 0:54) but that does not look familiar to me anymore, nor does most of the rest of the video, except for possibly the stage at the very end. It’s undergone some expansion renovations (local) since I’ve left and I don’t even really recognize much of the school from the aerial view anymore either. I really want to revisit this school and walk around.
My Primary 4-6 school was Rosyth, and that school has completely relocated (local) to another site, so I definitely don’t recognize the current canteen. I haven’t found videos or pictures of the previous site’s canteen.
My Secondary 1-2 school was Dunman High, and it has also undergone expansion renovations (local) since I’ve left. You can see some snippets of the current canteen at 1:12 of this video.. and maybe around 3:25 of.. of whatever this body-swapping video is.. but that definitely wasn’t the canteen that was there when I was there either. It looked more like this picture from page 82 of my 1998 yearbook — wide open square room, long tables and benches everywhere, and the row of stalls on the left side of the screen (and stretching off-screen to the left).
And a generic grassy sports field beyond that, with the side school exit to the bus stop off to the left past the final food stall (which was a snack stall). In this one, from page 77 of my 1998 yearbook, you can see a canteen stall in the background with what looks like a grainy price list above it.
Here’s another one, from page 91 of my 2000 yearbook, except it’s in colour.. and don’t ask what’s happening in that picture.
Oh how I wish I had proper photographs or videos of my time there, though.
The canteen or tuckshop is a location that appears in my dreams now and then. It’s usually the Dunman High version when it does, that or a completely random one crafted from my imagination, though usually there’s some sort of connection to the base Dunman one that I know and recognize as a canteen. This is even though I believe that the cheap dishes I mentioned above were probably from the Rosyth canteen.. I’m pretty sure the Dunman ones were more like a couple dollars each. I’m not sure, though. But it was definitely still cheap! I just don’t remember the Peiying or Rosyth canteens enough to make dream connections with them though. But if it’s not in some way a Dunman-inspired canteen, I usually call it a hawker centre instead.
A quick Ctrl-F search through my dream diary, most of which is still not posted as of this writing, shows references to canteens on Mar 04 2017, Jun 14 2017, Aug 29 2017, May 02 2018, Nov 05 2018, Nov 18 2018, Dec 31 2018, Dec 19 2020, Mar 21 2021, May 20 2021, Jun 14 2021, Jun 15 2021, Jun 17 2021, Aug 12 2021, Nov 11 2021, Dec 25 2021, and Feb 16 2022. Seems like a recurring motif to me! When I refer to a canteen, I’m usually referring to something mentally based around the last three grainy pictures above.
Mar 15 2022
- At one point I remember flipping through a print copy of a school-published magazine, and seeing one page dedicated to J-Pop, with a picture of a young man sitting at a desk in his office next to a large window with a good view of the city, and a caption showing his name, his age (25), his job title, and that he peddled J-Pop to his friends as well as a side gig as well. It had interviews with him and several other students and adults on campus on how J-Pop had affected their life.
- I flipped a few more pages and found a page dedicated to buses as well, specifically with a note that this was the last day that an East Coast bus was operational before the route was shut down. It had a picture of a big blue bus (Edmonton Transit Service style) and a picture of a female rider.
- In another part of the dream, I was playing a bird’s-eye view game which had a big castle that I was supposed to invade, and I had a number of troops I could see massed up just outside the castle. I could click and drag to select a number of them, and then click on the map somewhere to get them to all converge on that spot, just like an RTS game. My troops were dressed in the blue, while the enemy’s troops were red, and there was a sense of “Finally I’ve reached the castle!” going through my mind as I prepared for a siege. I remember the castle wall on the south side, where I was, was white and really high as though we were in a valley. But the amount of wall we had to climb would be lower on the west side where the front gate and portcullis were, and we could walk up a slope from where we were to reach that area. So I instructed my troops to do so. A couple of my troops tried to throw up a ladder and climb into the castle themselves but I caught them and got them to move back as that would have been suicide. I then caught a large battalion of red troops just outside the castle, patrolling, and destroyed them with my blue army, before starting the siege with catapults.
Mar 16 2022
- It was the weekend, but for some reason, Dad, Kel, and I were hiding in a Dunman High 1L classroom. The weather outside was bright and hot, and there were students on campus doing extracurricular activities, but we were there mostly to look for a quiet spot, and even though we weren’t really allowed to be in the classrooms, we found that they were unlocked so we secreted away in my old classroom.
- Dad was alternating between calling someone on the phone and teaching me photography tricks based on us watching some video of me taking a series of photographs with a camera in the past. He mentioned various pitfalls on things to watch out for that could cause washed-out colours or weird shadows. Kel was hanging out with me, chatting about things between Dad‘s talking, as all three of us sat around the teacher’s desk at the front of the class, with us two occasionally wandering around the classroom itself.
- Later, it started raining, and so there was a higher chance of students coming by now since we were a ground floor classroom. Even though the room also turned darker, we closed the front doors and shuttered the windows and left the lights off, pretending that there was no one in class in order to maintain our peace and sanctity. I figured that even though there’d be a chance that the attendant would come by and lock us in without realizing that there were people inside at 6pm when he did his rounds, we could always unscrew or dismantle a window or door from the inside and escape that way.
- Dad called Auntie Doris to chat, who gave some photography pointers as well — he had run out of tips to tell me so he used one of her ideas and said that if I had any questions about particular photos, or particular moments in the video, it was easier if I brought that up to him and he told me what he would have changed for each photo instead.
- He also took an old booklet I had with phone numbers of people that I had apparently made in the distant past, as many of the numbers were likely not working anymore. Still, he tried calling them one by one. Several attempts errored out because the recipient was in another country and the phone either wouldn’t connect or it would require a fee up front since it was now a very expensive overseas call to reach the person, who was overseas. One attempt worked though, and Dad connected with someone whom he apparently used to know, who now worked as a policewoman at an airport. She was delighted to talk to him again and told him all about her work, including a current ongoing long-term crisis where bombs were often found in cargo containers on wooden palettes, so much so you could even leave an empty palette in the middle of the airport and people would take a wide berth around it in fear.
- Eventually, a group of girls came by and opened the door and found us. THey were all dressed like prefects, in the Dunman uniform complete with tie, and they wanted to speak to whoever was here since the start of the day. I thought we were in trouble so I stood up and went to the door, expecting to get chewed up, but instead I noticed a couple girls in the group that I knew, including Debbie and Rachel, and the latter in particular stepped out from the group and offered us a catalog of Valentine’s Day chocolate that they had spent the last few hours making and were now selling.
- I noticed that Rachel had a yellow, frilly, checkered pattern material around the bottom edges of her blouse sleeves, as though she belonged to or strongly supported some sort of idol band and had their uniform on underneath or had modified her actual school uniform. She handed us a request form that we could fill out with our desired chocolates and submit to their group, though she told us that one flavour of chocolate, the one listed with bugs in it, was reserved for government officials that were visiting the school and thus not open for general orders.
- All the girls left except one, though not before turning on the room lights, while a few other girls began to trickle in through the classroom’s back door and take up seats near the back to do their own things, apparently glad for the company of other people. Dad was still on the phone in the meantime, but was trying to keep his voice down and speaking in hushed tones, and using his hand to cup the receiver so as to minimize noise on the receiving person’s end.
- The one remaining girl finally asked me why the three of us were cooped up in here like this. She said she understood because it was now raining, but that we should have kept the lights on. I tried to change the subject by asking her where the form should be submitted once we were done filling it in, and she said she wasn’t sure — the table their club was using had also moved somewhere indoors since it started raining, but it shouldn’t be too difficult to find.
- My lower lip then began swelling up in a way very reminiscent of what sometimes happens to me during eczema episodes, except it was a lot larger, and I tried to cover my swollen lip with a hand as my words to the girl started to slur. I did manage to get out that this was a reason why, because these swelling episodes happen and I wanted to hide it. She was apologetic and it was implied that she would soon start moving the other students out to give us privacy again.
Mar 17 2022
- I remember at one point sliding down (on a sloping ramp) from the third floor of a shopping centre where there were classrooms, to the second floor where there was a food court among other things. This is a shopping centre area that I had apparently visited in my dreams before, as I had a sense of recognition associated with it. The food court was nearly deserted, but there were a couple Chinese food stalls still open. There was also a large, square side room with seats and potted plants, and little booths surrounding that side room that sold drinks, popcorn, and so on.
- There was one exit from that side room that led to a swimming pool, and a glass door that led to another side room with an arena that was sponsored by and named after the Wake Up, Girls! Japanese idol group, although it was shuttered since the group had long since disbanded. Apparently they used to perform there in the past. I wanted to take a picture of it for my blog but the food staff were waiting for me impatiently as they had identified me as a likely customer, and there was someone sitting in that side room near the glass door that would have gotten in the way of any pictures, so I decided to come back later. There was also an admin exit on the other side of that arena that led back into the main food court, but it was sealed off by the shopping centre admin.
Mar 18 2022
- I was waiting just inside the doorway of a shared house for a public bus that would be coming to take me, my two siblings, and a few other people to school. I was helping everyone else get ready so I myself wasn’t quite ready by the time I saw the bus coming through a side window overlooking a street that was perpendicular to the main road with the bus stop outside our front door.
- I ran off to quickly throw on my clothes and grab my bag while everyone else shuffled outside — I happily had on my socks already so I ould just slip on my shoes, but then I realized my keys were still in a box on the table so I had to go in for those again, then come out — just in time to see the bus leaving, as the schedules were really strict. I was hoping the other kids would stall the bus by boarding slowly, but no such luck. I waved and hollered at the bus but it didn’t stop. There was a second bus at the bus stop but it was a 74 (instead of the 25 or something that would take us to school) and so I couldn’t board that.
- I was pretty miffed by that, so I decided to not go to school that day. I went back into the house and then later went out to a market, where I won a lottery of some sort buying meat at a meat store where you bought items before they were revealed, like a gacha. I won a 4-star consumable piece of large meat, and a 3-star piece of equipment (possibly something that regenerated and produced a bunch of meat over time), and the owner of the stall (or perhaps another customer in line) was mad at me because he said he had never won anything good like that himself.
- In a separate part of the same dream, I was on another bus headed home from somewhere when the bus was stopped by protesters or rebels. Everyone alighted from the bus and the people who had stopped the bus handed out flyers with a request to help march on a nearby TV station with a bunch of requests. To my surprise, most of the people on the bus were more than happy to oblige and streamed away down the road toward the building. Someone else next to me who didn’t care for it said that it was remarkable how quickly everyone else was swayed. I had other dream objectives though so I walked away.
Mar 19 2022
- Dad and I were seated around the kitchen table in Tampines 294. I was playing some sort of handheld game with a really large and realistic screen that I could dip in and out of, and involved a spaceship and exploring several different planets lined up in vertical columns. I remember leaving and re-entering the atmosphere of different planets while searching for something. Dad was reading the newspaper while worrying about a bag of things that he had lost recently in the vicinity of my University.
- Kel came into the kitchen and told Dad that they had received a phone call that someone had found a CD of Chinese music that was in the bag and that belonged to him, and he checked and saw that he indeed also had just received an email about it. He asked if they had found anything else with it as well, but the reply was unclear, although assumedly they did since the CD alone would not have been enough to identify the owner.
- I told Mom that I had decided not to hand in some homework for a particular class I was taking that semester because I disagreed with something or other that the class was doing, but that I should still be able to pass the class because homework was only about 20-25% or so of the class’s grade and so I should still be able to get a final score of 70%+ in that class.
- Snippet: At one point in this dream, I distinctly remember laughing heartily about something.
- Snippet: At another point in the dream, I remember either Mom or Jon coming over to my house with an opened bag of uncooked white rice for me.
- Even further on in a separate dream, I was in school and our teacher was dividing up our class into four groups to perform reenactment plays of some hero that we had learnt about, that might also have been a character I was earlier on in another dream. At least, I “knew” the story and what was going on in the hero’s mind in the particular play that my group ended up doing even when he and his group were off-screen, because I had the nagging feeling that I had played through the scene earlier.
- Anyway, while in class, we were gathered around the teacher’s table at the front of the class. The teacher allowed us to pick our groups but people were indecisive, so I produced a bunch of small cards with the numbers 1-4 on them, and some people clued in and started picking them randomly. Valerie, who was normally seated next to me in class, picked group 4, whereas Eileen picked group 3. Huihan searched through my hand and plucked a 3 card as well instead of picking one at random, because she wanted to be with Eileen. I eventually also ended up with a group 3 card at the end of the selection process.
- The teacher gave us group cards that included our roles, and my group 3 card told me I was to be a nameless soldier in an army that formed a semicircle around, and was defending, some people against another slightly larger enemy army long enough for the hero and his group to arrive and save the day. I was glad, because that meant I could more or less blend in and even slack off, as I needed to multitask and take care of something else as well, since my strength was optimization and organization and either some other project or group or some other dream plot or something also needed my attention at the same time. As such, when it came time to do the rehearsal, I just left my soldier character standing in the field without actually fighting and that worked out fine.
- On the second rehearsal or possibly actual presentation, however, this didn’t work out so well — the fight was a lot more equal and I looked back just in time to see my last ally drop, with only one enemy soldier left, and the hero rapidly approaching but not quite there yet, as he had to loop around a northerly path which then took a sharp turn back south toward us, and then cross a large bridge to actually get to us. I ended up having to kill that last enemy soldier, and then kind of wait around for the hero to arrive and rescue the civilians to continue his story, which made me stand out in a heroic way I didn’t expect to or like.
Mar 20 2022
- Our work team was part of a half-class half-meeting thing that was moved from our usual office in the University to a small classroom on the third floor of a shopping mall downtown, so getting there involved a train ride and some walking. In addition, the exact location was not publicized until the morning of the move itself, when one of the admin staff was near the original work building giving out pamphlets letting us know exactly where to go. I picked up one of these pamphlets, then expressed a concern that most people would not be able to find their way over. I was told by the admin woman not to worry and that people would surely find their way there, but to help my teammates if possible.
- We took a train and made our way over to the classroom. It was indeed small and cramped too, there were no windows, though there was a doorway leading to an outdoor balcony in addition to the door leading out to the hallway, and there were six tables in the classroom, each one seemingly able to fit two or three people. I was with two other people from my team, so we picked the front right table. As people filtered in, I noticed that it was largely people from the other half of the work team that was recently merged together with us, and since they were developers who needed space to put down their laptop and do some programming, they basically took up the other five tables, seated one or two per table.
- I figured that would be fine until the rest of my team came, although I noted to the person at the table behind us, Semyon, that he would probably have to move so we could have that table eventually. He said ok. But our first “class” or meeting started without anyone else showing up, and I started using my phone to monitor the locations of anyone else nearby.
- It seemed like I was expecting the rest of our half of the team to be filled up by some old Dunman High friends, rather than actual workmates. During the first class/meeting, I texted Gillian our class location, and she turned up and took a seat next to the three of us at the short edge of the table we were at, exclaiming that it was very cool inside the classroom and whether we felt the sun outside was too hot. I told her we had been in the class since morning so we couldn’t tell — we hadn’t seen the sun! She made an oh noise.
- I also saw that Debbie had arrived in the shopping centre but obviously had no idea where the classroom was, so I texted her and went down to fetch her to the classroom, hopefully before the next class started. Among other things, because this was a makeshift classroom, we were also not told when the next class would start, so I imagined that in theory we could also go have lunch from one of the food stalls before coming up to class again if we wanted, but if we were unlucky then we might miss a class and be yelled at for that.