My Diary #099

Dear Tigey,

Happy birthday, my precious, dear Canada! You turned 156 this week on Jul 01. Yet you look no older than the day you were born. What’s your secret? Oh right, you’re a largely inanimate object.

Entry #099 (Jul 02 2023)

Table of Contents

A galaxy full of…
ට  School
ට  Work
ට  Life
ට  Games
ට  Plushie of the Week #95
ට  Song of the Week #72
ට  Writing Prompt of the Week #15
ට  Memory Snippet of the Week #79
ට  Dreams


I attended that Sophia University Time Managers meetup that I talked about last week, and it was.. okay. It was faciliated by 4-5 Japanese students (who could all speak decent English) and about 20-25 other students, and basically consisted of a very quick presentation, and then a couple of icebreaker sessions in breakout rooms where we introduced ourselves and then proceeded to answer a couple of questions. Questions like:

1. Holidays
– When is your vacation?
– Where’s your go-to place for vacation?
– Do many people go abroad?
– Is there any difference by age?
– What’s your memory from your latest vacation?

2. Free Time
– What do you usually do in your free time?
– Do your prefer alone? Or with somebody?
– What’s your hobby?
– Should “sleeping” be included in hobbies?
– Share your best way to spend time?

In reality, the time was kind of divided up badly and there were too many students in each group (ours had 5-6), to the point that we didn’t even get through the #1 set of questions and never even touched #2, which was the entire point of the meetup in the first place. It was funnily ironic that for a session named “Time Managers”, the time management part of the organizers was nonexistent. The people participating were mostly international students too, largely from Europe, though with a couple students from North American universities located in time zones further east than me (the event took place at 5 am my time). There were no Sophian/Japanese students outside of the facilitators

There was a cringy student from France who joined about halfway through the hour, and interrupted our breakout room with a text chat message that read something along the lines of, “Hello, I can’t stay for long as I’m at work at the moment but I was wondering how to get in touch with Sophia University students through social media/student email addresses?” Self-centered and no tact at all, especially since a glance at the room would have shown that all the names except the poor facilitator were obviously non-Japanese.

Anyway, while I was happy to answer the questions during my turn, the event was completely pointless as these were people we would never meet again, and there wasn’t enough time for everyone to answer the questions so I feel bad for the people who got rushed near the end so we could even finish half of the first section. Without there being other Japanese students there, I think most people were somehow ambivalent about it too because most of the people were there to hear about the Japanese take on the answers, not other people from Europe (which most of them were in). It felt like a much weaker version of a single session of the Multicultural Learning Pods that I did last year.

Supposedly they held group chat sessions like that once a month, although it didn’t seem like there were any attendees who were identifiable as returnees from previous sessions. But they were now stopping for the summer anyway due to exams and summer vacation and then club member changeovers, so there were no more future sessions to join in the near future even if I wanted to, which I didn’t. It was okay, but not worth waking up at 5 am for.


Work was pleasantly quiet this week. I took Monday off, so it was a shorter week. And while it was a normal week for everyone else, this next upcoming week is a short one due to the Canada Day long weekend, so lots of people were gone on Friday anyway.

About the only notable thing that happened work-wise is that my supervisor and I got this nice email:

Hi <bossname>,

I meant to write to you about Jessica months ago, however, I was extremely busy and forgot about this.

I would like to congratulate you have a wonderful employee, Jessica Tan on your team. Jessica is efficient, knowledgeable, friendly, and very helpful. She does not just answer questions but gives reasoning and explains to us what happened, what went wrong, and how to fix it. Nowadays, it is very hard to find people who are willing to go the extra mile for people. I can tell her work ethic and attitude are fantastic and we are lucky to have her on campus.

Thank you and have a nice day!


That was from one of our clients in another department that we work with now and then, and was in response to an email I sent and some issues I helped them with back in April when I was doing a ton of overtime prior to my trip. They have no idea I’m leaving in a couple months, so the end of that email made me chuckle a bit. Pay me more and I’ll stay! (That’s not happening, though.)

I’m glad I picked up my MFA key fob a few weeks before I left for Japan, since without a phone, I’d have otherwise been unable to even log in to do any meaningful work on Tuesday and Wednesday. (See below)


Far and away the biggest thing that happened this week is that my Google Pixel 5 phone randomly stopped working late Monday evening. This obviously caused problems, and although it was interesting to go a day or two without a phone, I researched up and ordered a new phone and it arrived on Wednesday.

I had noticed that my Pixel 5 phone had been coming apart again — the glue around the edges of the screen had been weakening and it looked like I could pry open the phone into two halves without much effort if I wanted to. This made me suspect that the problem with the phone was the battery, which had expanded and bulged up enough to start to push the two halves of the phone apart late last year too. The little repair shop near my house, Mobile Care, perhaps just hadn’t done a very good job with the repair after all. Either way, the Pixel 5 phone was about 2.5 years old at this point, old enough to precede me starting my weekly blog by a couple months, so I think this was a blessing in disguise that it failed in the small window between my two Japan trips, and not while I was overseas where I would have been super reliant on my phone.

I could have just repaired my Pixel 5 and went on with life again, but I found an ongoing online deal for $400 CAD off on a Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, from the official online store itself, so that’s what I went with in the end. There were many other options, including buying a second hand refurbished phone or buying a cheaper phone, but the discount was too good in the end to pass up, plus I wanted to try a top of the line phone this time with the hope that it will last me at least 4 years. Hopefully I don’t have to change it before at least My Diary #300! Or #200, since I’ll be skipping a year of them while in Japan.

Anyway, the phone cost me about $1,300 CAD in all. After tax, the $400 discount, and about $38 or so cash back on Rakuten — the exact amount is still pending. I placed my order online at 9:23 am on Wednesday morning, asking to pick it up at the Samsung Experience booth in Southgate, and got an email that it was ready for pickup on 3:23 pm of the same day. 6 hours to the minute, pretty impressive. I knew that they likely had the basic model/colour in stock there, but I could not be certain that they did, and could not be certain that Samsung’s systems were smart and flexible enough to recognize this and allow me to pick up a phone from their stock there. They were, though.

The reason I did this purchase online instead of in person at the booth in the first place was that I did go there to start, but was told that there was no discount available for the phones there at the booth. This almost turned me away to some other phone at the time. I’m not sure if they misunderstood me or if the booth was just not offering the trade-in offer that they were offering online as well. There were two other offers online too, both of which would have saved me $250, one a student offer through the Samsung site itself and the second one from SPC (local), but neither one stacked with the $400 discount, though apparently they did at one point. Oh well.

The discount itself involves trading my old phone in, even if it were broken, so while I will miss my old Pixel 5, that was still a pretty good deal overall. I did send the old phone back to the same nearby dinky repair shop (Mobile Care) that it was repaired at the last time anyway to see if they could diagnose it and get it going again without too much cost, because the $400 rebate for the trade-in changes to $490 if the phone itself is actually working, and the shop quoted me a battery repair cost of $90 if the issue was actually the battery (this was up from $65 or so the last time, I note, and was done “under the table” without a receipt and “without tax”, very sus), so we agreed that if it was just the battery that had gone bad, then I would pay for the replacement, whereas if it was the battery and screen, or something like that, that needed replacement, then I wouldn’t go for it. The diagnosis itself was free.

I did this on Thursday, and they said they’d text me back in two hours but never did, then I went down on Friday again, at which point we agreed for me to come back on Saturday for the verdict. On Saturday, the phone was repaired, and I traded $90 in cash for it and went back home to retrieve whatever hadn’t been backed up from it. Which wasn’t a ton, since most of my stuff was backed up already, but was still valuable enough that the time it took was worth it, especially since it turned out to be a net zero in monetary cost.

There are several more side stories and incidents related to this whole debacle about getting a new phone too. I’ve included them all below to show how ridiculous my week was thanks to this one event.

On Tuesday, as part of my scouting for a new phone, I went down to the mall to talk to the Samsung Experience store and scout out the prices there. On the way out of the door, I saw a giant moth seated on my welcome mat inside my front door. I usually use that mat, plus another small rug, to stopper up the hole under the front door so random bugs can’t come in and so people can’t slip weird papers or gases under my door or something. I had apparently forgotten to do that on Monday though, so the moth must have crawled in and was now ironically seated on the welcome mat. Thankfully it was resistant to actually moving anywhere, so I slid the mat out of the way, opened the door, and then slid the mat outside and shook it around before it finally moved and flew off without incident. Except that my door opened to an inner apartment corridor, not directly into the outside arms of Mother Nature, so I’m not sure where it went after that. Not my problem though. The silver lining with this is that that moth would have been stuck in and flying around my apartment and been much harder to get rid of if the sequence of events that started with my phone breaking and led me to trying to leave the house at that time hadn’t occurred.

Late on Tuesday, I also saw a little centipede or something crawling around below my computer table, and while I was trying to get it to crawl on a piece of paper so that I could forcefully relocate it outside, it crawled into a plastic floor protector part of the DeskCycle machine below my desk, and then proceeded to get stuck in there once I turned the DeskCycle on its side as it couldn’t crawl up the smooth surface and out again. I brought the machine out onto the balcony and inverted the thing until the centipede fell out on the balcony floor and scurried away, before I brought the machine back in to the apartment again. I then decided to leave the machine be in a corner instead of reattaching it below my desk.

While that doesn’t directly relate to the phone being missing, seeing two creepy crawlies/fliers in my house in one day (and a third bug crawling around while I was writing this paragraph!) kind of spooked me — I’m used to going months without seeing any sort of bug in this apartment and I’ve more or less hit my usual bug quota for the year in this week alone.

On Wednesday, I tried to pay for my phone online in the morning, only to have my purchase declined and a fraud check sent as a text message to my phone due to Scotiabank‘s “helpful” automated anti-fraud system. Obviously I couldn’t get to my phone to approve this transaction since my phone wasn’t working. Thankfully just retrying the transaction worked for me, but even when I went down to the bank afterwards to talk about it, they said that their credit card department was separate and that they couldn’t do anything to check if my second transaction went through or to tell them that the first attempt was actually valid, except for leaving a rather pointless note on my account’s file in case someone manually reviewed it. So dumb. The Royal Bank of Canada is like this too though.

Also on Wednesday, I had to bring my phone over to the Virgin Mobile booth in Southgate to set up my phone number on the new phone. Since it was an eSIM, there was nothing physical to retrieve from the old phone to move over to the new one, but we also couldn’t figure out how to get into the phone at first because the very first screen you get upon startup is a screen that says that a SIM card must be inserted before phone setup can proceed. By the time I discovered that I could tap five times on the phone to bypass that step and continue the setup to perhaps eventually get to a place where I could set up an eSim instead, the booth attendant had already converted my eSIM back into a regular physical SIM card with the help of a colleague, and so we used that instead. He left me steps to convert it back into an eSIM again at home afterwards, but I haven’t actually tried it yet as too many other things were going on this week. Their service is great though, all this was done for free and those guys also seemed to recognize/remember me on sight.

On Wednesday and Thursday, after I had gotten my new phone, I had to spend some time setting up all my apps again, starting afresh instead of importing apps and settings so I wouldn’t be carrying any additional baggage over from my previous install. One thing that did give me problems was getting back into WeChat, because they weren’t satisfied that I knew my username and password on my new phone, but also wanted me to prove ownership by scanning a QR code from my old phone, which was impossible, or receiving a text message with a temporary password, which seemed to be broken and not sending, or contacting a friend on my contacts list through another method and having them send a temporary code as a text message to my account in WeChat itself. I had Kel and Jah do this and both of them were rejected for either being too new or not being close enough friends, or something like that. I tried to enlist Zian‘s help too but due to timezones she was asleep. Thankfully the SMS message option eventually started working again on the fourth or fifth try, and I got in that way.

I was actually worried for a bit at first because I knew that China blocked everything under the sun that they perceive as an insult or threat, so I didn’t really have any other way to talk to Zian since she wasn’t able to access Instagram or Line from the country, so if I wasn’t able to get back into my account and had to create a new one, then how would I even get in touch with her to let her know? I thankfully realized that we had traded email addresses just two days ago though, on our weekly Monday morning chat, so I sent her an email on that informing her what had happened and asking her to send me that 6 digit code. Even though I eventually got in to WeChat before she woke up, and told her so in a followup email, she cheerfully sent me the code anyway and we had a laugh at that. I then added her, Jah, and a bunch of family member accounts as Emergency Contacts in WeChat, so maybe that will prevent this issue and allow any of them to verify my account in the future.

While I was doing that, I also approved Jon‘s account — new accounts have to be approved by existing accounts and everyone in the family was setting one up in anticipation of Kel going to China to teach in a couple of months. This entire mini-ordeal also made me wonder what sort of hell people go through when they lose access to their phone number and have to sign up with a new one.

On Thursday, I ordered a SUPCASE unicorn beetle phone protector from Amazon, as well as a random cheap screen protector. I never did get either of these things for my poor Pixel 5, but this one was a much more expensive phone so I wanted to be more careful with it. Both arrived on Friday, the next day, after a bit of delivery drama where the delivery time got postponed for hours and then the courier couldn’t seem to find my apartment. He did in the end and I’m glad to say that both the screen and case were applied to the phone successfully. Accessory get!

On Friday, while I was at the nearby Southgate mall trying to visit the Mobile Care shop, I had to stand around and eventually complain to the mall service desk who called mall security to find them to reopen the shop because they were closed with a “Back in 10 minutes!” sign for over half an hour. It’s the second time I’ve ran into that temporarily closed sign while trying to do business with them, and the fourth or fifth time overall that I’ve seen the sign (while passing by the shop), they’re the only store in the mall that seems to do this and I think the sole employee in the store just wanders off into the staff-only back corridor area in the mall to slack off sometimes, since that’s where I know he went off to the last time too and he wasn’t carrying anything when he returned. It’s very weird and borderline unprofessional. There’s a door to that staff corridor area conveniently across from the Mobile Care shop, next to a hairdresser shop. That Indian employee remembers me though, so I actually like him overall.

Actually, a lot of random employees in the mall (and staff from my apartment complex) seem to recognize me and even occasionally remember my name from just an interaction or two, I wonder why. It’s nice but also at the same time slightly worrying that I’m maybe too standoutish or weird-looking in some way.

I went down to pick up my phone on Saturday at 10:55 am, nearly an hour after the mall opened at 10:00 am, and I knew before seeing it that the store was mysteriously closed again. Of course it was. Every other store in the mall was open. I hung around the rest of the mall for a bit, came back 20 minutes or so later, and it was thankfully open.

Outside of phone drama, I called in to renew my Royal Bank/RBC credit card this week, although I’m not really actively using that credit card any more. It’s still my backup in case things go south with my Scotiabank card though, and because it’s my oldest line of credit. The reason I called in, even though it wasn’t due for renewal until next year, is that I realized that I wouldn’t actually be around in Canada when it does renew, and it was also close enough to the date that my Japan study abroad program would be ending that I wasn’t about to have them send a credit card to whatever residence I would be in at that time either. The nice lady on the other side of the line upgraded my basic card to an RBC Ion Visa card or something and said that they would send it to me in a couple weeks.

I got rid of a couple bags of clothes at the donation bin near my house this week, on Monday morning after taking the day off from work. I have several more to go though, but got majorly distracted by the sudden loss of my phone and all the follow-up drama around it.

There were several promised or possible thunderstorms this week that ended up bypassing our city altogether, and our weather got rather hot in the late afternoons and evenings, to the point where they issued a multiple-day heat warning for our 28-29 degrees Celsius, so I was rather unhappy with the weather. The birds were very happy though, one thing that my time away in Kyoto has made me aware of once I come back is just how loud the birds are here in Edmonton, especially in the mornings. Chirp. Chirp. CHIRP!

And once the weather cooled, and my phone was all set up so that burden was taken off my mind, I achieved At Peace with the World on Saturday, which was very nice. Summer is very nice because I can keep my balcony door and a window open 24/7 for air circulation, so the scent of the outside world and the gentle touch of the occasional breeze are both accessible from my computer table.

I also caught up on my 6-7 week seasonal anime backlog this week after several heroic sessions of anime watching. To help me not suffer from flagging interest halfway, I tend to watch from worst-rated to best-rated show when I’m catching up like this, and the last few shows this season were really good, so that kept me going. In particular, I really liked Yuri is my Job!, Insomniacs After School, Skip and Loafer, and The Dangers in my Heart this season. The next season is starting right away too, though I can’t pick up too many shows this time around due to my impending move to Japan. I’ve apparently watched around 90 23-minute episodes of anime in the past week though, phew.

Here are the last pictures that my Pixel 5 phone ever took. This one of a criss-cross of contrails in the sky on Monday at 9:08 am:

And this one of graffiti at 12:05 pm on Monday:

Thank you, dear phone, for your service.

Conversely, these are the first few pictures that my Galaxy S23 Ultra took. I was playing around with the 200 megapixel camera, so the pictures are too big in size for WordPress to generate previews of and I don’t want everyone who visits this page to download these huge files automatically, so here’s a link to the first picture it ever took, a 16320×12240 pixel resolution picture of Tigey that’s 10 mb big, and here’s a 16320×12240 pixel resolution of the view outside my balcony that’s 27.5 mb big. I did notice that the focus on the sides of the camera isn’t as strong as the focus in the middle — I took a picture of a bunch of pin-up notes on the pride wall at my local mall later in the week that displays this better, and here it is, a 16320×12240 pixel resolution picture that clocks in at 24.8 mb in size.

I’ll have to fiddle around more with it. Another thing I fiddled around with is the night mode — here’s a more sensibly-sized picture of my morning view at 3:54 am:

And then I turned around and took a picture of my apartment itself, which was basically pitch-black except for a tiny bit of light from outside:

The night mode actually works pretty well, hey. I was surprised it could catch so much light.

On Saturday, a bit of a storm finally arrived, and it brought with it large ice balls as hail. A rather rare event, and it didn’t last too long, but it likely did a bunch of car and people damage around the city. I’m glad I was safely indoors, and don’t own a car.


I didn’t play much if anything this week at all. I had a rather terrible sleep schedule at the start of the week, which eventually and finally more or less stabilized back to a normal schedule by midweek. However I’ve still been rather tired in the evenings, and have also been devoting most of my spare time to watching anime to catch up and finish last season’s shows, so games took a back seat this week. Outside of a bunch of daily quests in Star Rail, I finished and got 100% achievements for a solitaire game called Ancient Enemy, which I nonetheless don’t recommend in general, and I started playing a bit of Jack Move, which was a game I really enjoyed from a Steam Next Fest from last year. I’m eyeing a few other games, both single player and co-op, but haven’t bitten on anything quite yet. I think Satinel wants to play something with me but we haven’t been able to agree on a suitable game yet.

Plushie of the Week #95 – Yuanfen

I picked up this little plushie from the Lake Biwa Museum Gift Shop in Kusatsu, Shiga on Jun 03 2023 when I went there with Zian on my Kyoto trip last month. How weird to think that a month hasn’t even passed since that momentous and very special event, yet it seems so far in the rear view mirror now. Thank goodness for my overly-detailed blog posts.

Anyway, the plushie cost 2,480 yen, and according to the tag attached to him, is supposed to be named Hikonyan, a mascot character for Hikone, one of the towns near Lake Biwa. Very cute. However, after receiving Zian‘s letter on our last day together, I renamed him Yuanfen, or fateful coincidence/natural affinity, a phrase that she used in her letter to me and a concept which I liked a lot after reading about it. Although we went into several shops in different cities to look for plushies together, this plushie was the only plushie that I bought while together with her, and was from a place we went to on a very memorable, glorious, and magical weekend together, so in a sense he represented the peak of my happiness in Kyoto, and whether the cosmic concept of yuanfen was very much a part of this journey we spent together or not, this plushie at least now pays homage to that precious memory.

Honestly though, he was probably a bit overpriced, but nearly everything in that shop was to some extent anyway. This picture was taken the next morning, on Sunday, June 04 2023 (the date in the notebook is wrong):

And here are some current pictures of Yuanfen. Front:


Close up of tag fronts:

And backs:

Song of the Week #72

Title: Gurenge
Artist: LiSA
Album: Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba OST (2019)

I don’t always explicitly note it in the comments, but every song that I’ve remembered ever crying to for whatever reason is nestled somewhere in the Song of the Week sections of my weekly blog, or will be once I remember it. This is because it means that the song had some sort of turning point or significant milestone effect of some kind for me, and thus is culturally important enough that my virtual museum needs to at least pay homage to that event.

Like last week’s song, this song is one of those that fit into the above category, and furthermore came about while on the Kyoto trip, thanks to the initial shock of parting from Zian after our five weeks together. The reason this song picked up that significance is simply because it was one of the songs that she played at the taiko drum station in the arcade in Aeon Mall Kyoto Gojo that we went to on Jun 09 2023. Video included at the bottom of that linked page.

I didn’t actually even like this song prior to this event. I mean, it’s okay, not bad, but it was nothing spectacular to me. It’s the titular song for the first season of the Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba anime. I really couldn’t care less about “good animation” and “awesome fight scenes”, and I thought the story was kind of weak, and the side characters hateful, so I never watched past the first season. The song was one that I knew well and can fairly easily nail in AMQ if it comes up though. So while I didn’t recognize the other two songs that she played, I instantly recognized this one when it started.

Witnessing Zian play the song here catapulted the song up my personal song charts, as it became indelibly linked to a precious memory. It’s still nowhere near my top 20 opening songs, but would probably feature somewhere in my top 50 if I ever tried to make such an extended list, on the sole strength of that memory alone. It doesn’t upset me anymore, but in the very recent aftermath of us parting ways, I cried to that memory and song, several times, both in Kyoto and then in Tokyo. So now, I honour that half-nostalgic, half-bittersweet memory, and the raw pain it brought with it here, in its own Song of the Week segment.

Writing Prompt of the Week #15

This week’s writing prompt reads:

“What special traditions did you have in your household growing up?”

I actually accidentally skipped a few pages when picking last week’s question, but that’s fine. I probably don’t actually have to be so rigid and answer each and every question in turn. I did go back this week to address the actual next question in the list, the one above, though.

I’ve touched on several family traditions already, like shoe painting every weekend, or dinner always being at 7:30 pm, or what our family did around Chinese New Year, though I’m not totally sure how many of those count as traditions in the sense of this question. Then again, it’s up to the person answering, isn’t it?

We didn’t really have any other specific festival traditions, for example we didn’t have a family grave or anything like that that we’d visit. Although I think we visited a Buddhist medium’s place once a year or so. I never was sure around what event this occurred though, maybe some time near the Hungry Ghost Festival. She wasn’t part of the extended family or anything, but it kind of felt like that sometimes since we visited her several times. My parents would disappear into the back room for some prayers or something while us children hung around in the front hall.

We also would get blessed now and then, either at that family medium house or at my grandmother’s house. The blesser, and I mostly remember my grandmother doing this, would hold a bundle of sacred leaves and twigs in her hand, and I would stand in front of her. She’d raise it to my head, then brush it down the front of my body, down to my feet. She’d repeat this head to toe, head to toe, many times over and over, as though “wiping off” any bad influences from me. I never really found any reference online as to what this ritual or custom is called, though it’s almost certainly something connected to Buddhism.

On a far more mundane scale, we always ate our dinner every day on newspapers in Singapore — Mom would spread out a section or two of old newspapers on the dinner table and put the dinner plates on that, both the personal bowls and, if any were present in that evening’s dinner, shared bowls. The newspaper was to guard against spills, and also for us to toss bones on. We’d then wrap up and throw away the newspaper once everyone was done. Having nothing better to do while eating since we weren’t allowed to chat too much amongst ourselves while eating, we always ended up reading the newspaper bits below our plates. I always thought this was a rather clever way of sort of getting us to read the newspaper!

Memory Snippet of the Week #79

While going through my old boxes this week and sorting out clothes to donate, I found a bunch of hats from Singapore that I took pictures of because of how interesting they are to me. They’re roughly divided into two sets, the first being a bunch of hats that say Aces’ Day on them, and seem to be related to the Great Singapore Workout or similar:

Apparently I have one hat from 1993, two from 1995, four from 1996, one from 1997, and one from 1998. None from 1994, I wonder why. There’s someone else’s blog post here (local) talking about ACES Day, or All Children Exercising Simultaneously Day, although most of the links on the page are long since dead. This is why I try to make local links of as many things as I can…

Anyway, the program seems to have started in 1993, and I find it amusing that somehow we saved a whole bunch of hats from the event.

The second batch of hats look like this:

On the top left is a beret from when I was in the Dunman High Scouts, which I just conveniently talked about last week. I don’t actually remember wearing that hat, but that’s certainly the Scout logo on it.

Next to it, in the middle of the top row, is a Dunman High school cap. On the left side of the bottom row is a cap from a school even earlier than that, from my first primary school, Peiying Primary School. The 30th anniversary “My Singapore, My Home” logo on that suggests that it was from 1995, which is a bit weird since I was only in that school from 1991 to 1993, but close enough.

Talking about My Singapore My Home, that’s also the main logo on the patriotic hat in the bottom right, which also contains the logo for the Urban Redevelopment Authority, a government branch, on one side of the head, and PSA on the other. I have no idea what PSA would be — I suspect Port of Singapore Authority, and the anchor in the logo seems to support this, but the logo itself doesn’t actually seem to match up with any picture I can find online from a cursory search.

And then there’s the red hat in the top right, which reads ACPMC. This stands for Asian Cities Primary Mathematics Contest, and was from the competition in Hong Kong that I got to represent Singapore in in 1996. Scanning everything I have from that time period and making a Memory Segment post is still on my to-do list, but that’s a lot of papers to scan.

Good times. I kept all these hats.

Jun 26 2023
  • I was a student at an all girls school, living in what essentially was a guest house shared with several other students, but I had my own room with a huge bed.
  • As part of the dream, there was a sentient bee or wasp on the bed which was the reincarnation of another girl or something and so she wanted me to try to kill her so she could move on. I folded a towel in two and held both ends together in my fist, then swung the middle part of the towel at the insect several times to try to kill it, but kept missing each time as the bee was buzzing around the bedsheets.
  • In the end, another bee or wasp came along, this one with an orange-colored carapace, and the sentient bee flew up to that orange one aggressively so that it would attack her. She finally managed to commit suicide this way. I needed to kill this one too because this now was on my bed, but I was far more scared of it since this one wasn’t sentient.
  • I swung my towel at it again but missed again, and I dropped my towel in fear after this first swat attempt. I then took control of the dream, deciding on a conclusion where the orange insect flew right into the towel and vanished because there was a small exit portal from the room that was aligned with the location of the towel. Ceding control back to the dream, I picked up the towel gingerly and indeed found that the orange buzzer was nowhere to be seen now.
  • Later on, a news reporter was interviewing another female student who lived in the building about what happened, and she said that she and the school felt very guilty upon hearing what had happened to the girl who became a sentient bee.
  • The reporter said not to be guilty, and showed her research that the reporter had done, proving that the dead girl was a student living here four years ago, and thus none of us were at fault since our University was only a 3-year program and thus none of us could have had been here to affect the outcome in any way when the girl was here. In addition, the reporter proved that there was some sort of weird time loop mechanism that had caused the entire scene to happen now in the first place instead of four years ago, and that same time loop was why I could not hit the bee with my towel.
  • In the end we were all satisfied with the outcome, especially when the school gave everyone living at the house a small reward for successfully resolving the issue.
Jun 27 2023
  • I dreamt I was one of the cute horse girls from Uma Musume anime, complete with two little ears that poked up vertically atop my head, and I had just won some sort of minor contest aboard an airship. As is customary in the show, the top three winners perform a short concert for everyone else, and this was done backstage in a tiny room, but there were only two of us. The third girl, who had a three-word long name, was watching from outside the room, with her back against the metal wall next to the open doorway leading into the room, so she wasn’t visible to anyone inside (but was very much visible to my dream camera).
  • After the event, I was lying down on the floor of the airship in a room but decided to try to get up on my feet and go off in search of her. It was disorienting and dizzying trying to get up onto my feet though, probably due to the airship throwing off my sense of balance. It also felt like there was a heavy, muddy substance in my pants, around my bottom, weighing me down.
Jun 29 2023
  • I’m not sure of the exact context but I do remember that the rest of my family went on a vacation together, and while they were gone, I also wanted to go on a vacation, so I drove myself to the airport, something I had never done before. The car ride involved traversing a bunch of small, single-lane side roads that looked like offramps that were going to merge into a larger highway, but the merger never came. Along the way, I passed by someone who was having a conversation with someone else about whether the flight carrier offered free vaccinations or something before takeoff, the first guy said in his experience, they always did, and a couple other people said that he must have been lucky once or twice because in their experiences, the airline never did. The first guy was surprised at that.
  • I also passed a military outpost of some kind with a checkpoint, and a turn-off road there with a sign that said that they were legally obligated to have a turn-off exit there but under no circumstances would anyone, even their own people, be allowed to use it. The checkpoint was simply to ensure that no vehicle tried to turn into it.
  • Once I reached the airport itself, I boarded the actual plane, and my seat was near the back of the plane, on the left aisle seat of the middle column. The two seats to my right, and the three seats in the row behind me, were eventually occupied by a group who came on together, with a tiny girl named Erin seating directly next to me and a girl named Lauren seated on the other side of her. They were both strangers to me, but I chatted them up and told them that I knew friends with their exact names and how coincidental that was to me.
  • Somewhere between interactions with the family and interactions with the two girls on the plane, I had access to some sort of chat program where you could “play” virtual cards with pictures, with each one representing a complex emoji in the chat. When you played three different ones together, they would also sometimes combine into different larger emoji, and I remember special larger emoji like a frog supervisor seated in an office and typing away at his computer, a couple people on a beach looking away across the waves into the distance, or a single thumb tack or nail left alone and facing upwards with a little bit of space on either side of it, that could be created.
  • At some point, I also overheard a conversation between Ronnie and Babita in some offices in the second level of a building that I recognized from past dreams as one that our department sometimes worked in, with lots of little small offices. Anyway Ronnie said that with so many people away, he appreciated Babita being around, and because she was the one true female there out of all the people that were present at work through the last week, her input was very valuable in trying to figure out how to best implement a change for all the students

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