My Diary #122

Dear Tigey,

If this is a life diary, why am I only writing in it once a week?

Entry #122 (Dec 10 2023)


I am trying a new thing this week, where I will write segments of my weekly diary as the week goes along, rather than all at once at the end of the week. We’ll see if this goes better for me (I get to remember more details and put it in, plus my Saturdays become freer) or worse (if, perhaps, I find constantly having this diary entry open in a separate tab as a burden or a stress source), but it’s at least worth trying for one week. (Sunday edit: It wasn’t too bad, I kind of liked it, and I really appreciated my Saturday being freer.)

My new Shark vacuum cleaner arrived on Monday, a day earlier than expected. Actually, it apparently could have arrived late last week, on Thursday or so, but I ignored the call from the delivery person because he used his own cellphone instead of the door buzzer to try to reach me, and I just assumed that it was a spam call. He tried again on Monday, I declined the call, and he called again, and this time I picked it up and realized that he was downstairs trying to get hold of me. Oops. Anyway I gave the higher-traffic areas of my apartment a nice clean on Monday and felt very satisfied and fulfilled.

I’ve placed a couple online orders directly with Chinese restaurants in Edmonton over the past two months or so, bypassing the generic delivery services altogether. I’ve found two good places that get me 4 big rectangular styrofoam boxes of food for about $65-70 or so after delivery and taxes, which often lasts me for up to 6 full meals, or 3 boxes for around $50 that can last for 4 large meals easily, making it a very affordable choice for food after I have too many days of homemade soup and/or rice in a row. I actually have kept a local restaurant/food text log file for several years now, where whenever I buy from a restaurant I will also write down its name and what I bought from it, and notes about whether I found it tasty or not, and expensive or not.

Unsure if related, but I’ve also noticed recently that I’m no longer really getting those itchy hives any more if I don’t take antihistamine pills for a couple days in a row. Not that I’m doing that on purpose, I just keep forgetting to take my cocktail of pills in the morning fairly often, even after all these years, and nothing bad ever really seems to happen these days even if I don’t.

My Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra phone updated its firmware on Tuesday morning, and on Tuesday night I was fiddling with the phone as part of an investigation into some crackling noise I could sometimes hear on my speaker (which I never ended up resolving). As part of said investigation, I removed the SIM tray and reattached it again, as apparently that sometimes fixes the problem (it didn’t). Now, my phone is set up with no SIM card at all, and only an eSIM, the idea being that when I go overseas I can just order a temporary SIM card from wherever I am and slot that in to use it without impeding my local one.

One of those two actions on Tuesday caused an interesting thing to happen though, which was that I discovered that my eSIM was now somehow disconnected from the phone itself, and would not reconnect — when I scanned the QR code on my provider, Virgin Mobile’s website, it said the eSIM I was trying to add was already in use on another device. But this was my only device. Anyway push came to shove and I went down to the mall on Wednesday to get help from the Virgin Mobile mall kiosk folks, and they fixed it for me by turning the eSIM back into a regular SIM card and inserting that. They could have turned it back into an eSIM again if I wanted, but since they had to turn it into a physical SIM to rescue it in the first place (I’ve encountered this before actually, back when I wanted to transfer my eSIM from my old Google Nexus phone into this one), the girl suggested I wait a few days at least to make sure my old eSIM hadn’t actually been somehow hijacked by another phone or something. I didn’t think it had but I agreed that it would be better to leave it as a physical SIM for now, especially if I wasn’t going to go abroad again right away.

I fought with my upstairs neighbours again on Thursday, giving the ceiling about 10 to 15 sharp raps when they were making so much noise that I could hear them through my headphones during my morning Zoom team meeting for work. They’ve been quiet at night, more or less, but I daresay they’re as noisy or even noisier during the day now, if that was even possible. They stomped back on the floor angrily a few times, and I knocked the ceiling back each time they did. Not long after that, Denise Brophy, the manager, called me again, saying that they had called the office in tears (tears!) and that I was basically harassing them. They claim they had just woken up not long ago, despite having already made noise for well over an hour before I started hitting the ceiling. And now they were crying after 10-15 knocks on the ceiling (most of them in response to their stomping after I knocked the first few times)?

I told her that she should send some people over to hear what I am hearing, and she did agree to that and told me to call them the next time I heard noises from the upstairs neighbours again. I called not an hour after that as the noises continued, but they didn’t have enough people left in the office to send at that point since most of them were on lunch break, so I tried again another hour after THAT because there was a whole new set of noises, after sending a tirade in an email to Denise and the front office saying that the neighbours were hypocritical and noisy and that their office was being unfair in their judgement that I was the one harassing them today, and one thing led to another and they finally sent two people over.

By this time though the neighbours were out or something and the noises above were largely being made by repair people trying to do some maintenance work on their balcony door (another excuse the upstairs neighbour had was that the balcony door was “stuck” and that’s why it probably made a lot of noise — this is rubbish, the door was fine and it made a lot of noise because they’re addicted to chain smoking), and so the two ladies that came over at least could hear those noises and see how noise travelled between our apartments. I said I would call them over again the next time the neighbours cleaned the house in the morning/early afternoon though, as that’s usually the best display of the noise that they often make, but no one was free on Friday when I called so I took a rain check for next week or so.

Either way, harassment or not, at least the threat of more noise should encourage them to take the office’s offer to move the next time a unit opens up elsewhere. I feel like I’m so vindictive, but I can’t coexist with them anymore. I just pity the next person they’re going to be living above of, if they get another unit with wooden floors. (And for the record, I didn’t actually get any formal warning for “harassment”. Not that I’d mind eating a couple to chase that Ukrainian couple out if it comes to that.)

But for now though, discretion is the better part of valour for me, especially since I want to bait out more noises so that when I manage to get the apartment folks in next week, they can hear as much noise as possible from them, so I don’t really want to cow the Ukrainian couple into not making any noise right now. So this weekend is a grin and bear it weekend. (They’re actually softer/less active on weekends anyway, it seems.)

It finally (unfortunately) snowed a little bit this week overnight, so the ground now has a thin sheen of snow.  I took another picture of the outside decorations in the apartment complex, this time with a snowy ground instead of a brown one, and a blue evening backdrop instead of the blackness of night:

Here’s a random picture of our mall Santa as well:

And some of the neighbourhood and skies on Wednesday when the weather was really nice:

Still no word on my trip, I haven’t budged on picking a day to fly off and may never do so. Ironically, the main push factor right now encouraging me to go are my noisy neighbours. But in this economic climate? Eeeeh. At least my sleep schedule is fixed now though, since their noises have dropped at night. I still had a little bit of trouble sleeping early in the week, but that was because I always woke up really late as well after falling asleep really late, so I set an alarm clock one morning for 8am and have been fine since then.


I cancelled my Humble Choice (local) monthly package of games this month, because my annual subscription to that was going to renew next month and I haven’t felt that the games have been worth it all that often. I’ve still collected most of them anyway, and I could and will still get the new ones on a month-to-month basis if I feel like it, but apparently the monthly coupons Humble provides for each individual purchase are even better than the “savings” from subscribing to the Humble Choice for an entire year anyway (unless one gets the annual one on a discount, which I’m not currently and missed the November campaign for because I was already actively subscribed then), plus the perks for staying subscribed are pointless to me, since their store is marked up so heavily that a 20% blanket discount seldom beats out whatever any given game price is on Steam, Fanatical, or Green Man Gaming.

I still got this month’s bundle though, since I am guessing I have to use up my remaining credits before I start to get “deals” offered my way, and I didn’t actually own any of the games from this month’s Humble Monthly yet.

In the world of solo gaming, I finished Backpack Hero this week, or at least finished all the achievements, including a couple grindy RNG ones that made the game overstay its welcome a little bit. Whatever, that’s done now, and I’ll still be spinning swords and shields endlessly in my daydreams for a bit, I fear.

In terms of co-op gaming, Satinel and I are most of the way through Sniper Elite 5 now, except we’ve run into some annoying bugs like disconnecting halfway through a mission and then Satinel losing her stats as the guest player on my hosted game when we load back in together. We’ve been playing all the missions on Hard too, instead of Normal like we did for SE4, so that’s been nice, the enemy AI seems to have gotten a bump in general in this mode, though we still get the occasional enemy rushing by me in their clear sight to try to get to Satinel sometimes. We’ve completed the main campaign now though and are working through the last DLC missions that we own before putting it to rest.

I touched Cyberpunk 2077 briefly because their patch 2.1 arrived, which allowed players to ride the city’s metro train system, which was nice because I love trains. But the view inside the train was limited to only a couple of preset positions and a slight bit of angle shifting, so that was irritating. Very hard to get any good screenshots at all and I gave up and alt-F4’d out soon after.

Instead, I noticed that Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 came back on sale on Steam again, so I bought that and will be playing that next, hopefully for at least a week, maybe two. When I tried it out, I found a level 2 trial character from ages ago, so I must have tried it out briefly when it first launched many years ago. I thought it would be cute to continue playing her instead of rolling a new character, especially since she was literally still on the very first story mission after whatever basic controls tutorial I must have previously done. So I did so. The game gave me a bit of a headache when I tried it that night though, but the next night was better. I’m still pondering a second game to pair with it, because it’s ultimately a “tick off lots of checkboxes” sort of game, and I am looking very temptedly at Hades, which is on sale right now too.

Jah, Nak, Satinel, and I randomly played a bit of GTFO this week because it was a free weekend and we like 4-person co-op games. It seemed tough though, like playing L4D2 on Hard, which requires a bit of trial and error and honing skills and getting comfortable with keybinds and mechanics. It also felt a bit janky, though we liked the computer terminal aspect. We wiped twice on the first mission and then people had to go to bed.

Plushie of the Week #118 – Moehog

This  week’s plushie is a Moehog plushie living in the plushie box in our family home. A moehog (local) is a pet type from Neopets, and this paritcular one was a promotion from McDonalds..  but I’m not sure if we actually got it FROM McDonalds, or if we picked it up from an intermediary source, perhaps a second-hand sale somewhere, or a leftover from Dad‘s laundry shop business many years ago, or if a friend gave it to us or something. Who knows! But we’re well into the “unknown origin” plushies of my Plushie of the Week at this point anyway, and this one is an example of such.



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Song of the Week #95

Title: Northern Star
Artist: Melanie C
Album: Northern Star (1999)

Melanie C, or Sporty Spice of the Spice Girls, was always my favourite Spice Girl growing up. Once they all started their individual careers, I was also happy that my favourite song from their solo repertoires was also by her, in the form of this very song. I love her voice.

This song is smack dab in the middle of the period of my life when we were moving to Canada, having come out the year after we moved, so I have a lot of “dark night” memories tied to this and how I didn’t like Canada in general back then, even though I liked the song a lot myself, and the song felt a little lonely and melancholic, just the way my mood was a lot of the time back then.

But above and beyond that, this song was also significant because it reminded me of Dad — back in Singapore, in the early 90s for several years before we left, he owned and operated a courier company called Northern Star Express, and so this song to me was always an accidental ode to Dad and his company too, which was sort of neat. The music video also has a train going by in the night, which is a motif that I am extremely fond off, and also another interpretation of a “Northern Star Express”… it’s very romantic!

Writing Prompt of the Week #38

This week’s writing prompt reads:

“Describe a time when you got very angry with one or both of your parents.”

#1 in this has got to be the Sentosa Chalet incident. I already have an entire blog snippet for it back in My Diary #056 though. Tied in to that, so maybe I’ll list it at #2, is the actual moving to Canada itself, I disliked being uprooted from Singapore and moved over here to Canada, and it took me many, many years to come to peace with this. A good part of my heart is still back home, though finally in the past 4-5 years or so (so like 20 years after the fact) I’ve finally processed that maybe this was a pretty good move after all.

#3 in big fights with my parents is probably over money. Being Chinese, we have this “filial piety” thing, and part of it is that as children, we were always told that once we become adults, we’d have to pay a monthly tithe or stipend to our parents, the way that our parents were paying a monthly amount of money to their grandparents, and so on, too. This was out of respect and thanks for them bringing us up.

I do like my parents and respect them and such, and our entire immediate family does have good relations with one another, but we did run into some arguments over this bit, especially when I first started working and was still staying at home. At the time Dad had just come off a string of small, failed business ventures after moving over to Canada, and my perception was that he spent a lot of his time sitting around at home and playing on the computer (he especially liked Rodent’s Revenge and Spider Solitaire from the Microsoft Windows Entertainment Pack game collection) and not actually going out and working properly, though that’s probably not a very fair statement to make. He was nowhere near retirement age at that time but also apparently had been starting to get eye problems (glaucoma) that prevented him from getting certain types of jobs. Mostly though he was even more inflexible than I am and had a hard time fitting into work culture here in the west.

Anyway, during that time when I had just started working but was still living at home, in Edmonton 4012 (a house which we outright owned instead of rented), I was paying about $1000 a month of my salary toward the family to help with food and housing and such. When I finally moved out of the house to my own apartment (Edmonton 205), this amount barely fell at all, I think it only went down to about $800 a month or so, which was grossly unfair because I had to pay my rent on top of that, and so my bank account was basically not growing at all even though I was working.

I eventually fought back against this, several times, and exchanged some bitter emails with Mom accusing them of treating us like investments instead of children and retiring early instead of working, while she said things like since I was the eldest child I always had the most privileges growing up and that they had sacrificed so much to bring us to Canada, and had burnt through all their funds, etc, as well.

In the end, I got my monthly tithe down to about $500 a month instead, which I still continue to this day. To save money, the family eventually moved on from Edmonton 4012 too, which paid off the rest of the mortgage on the house and cleared all remaining debts, at which point they also started renting a place of their own. By this time I believe both my siblings had also started paying into the family funds so the burden was shared amongst more people as well.

Still though, relying entirely on this “family welfare” system to survive your elder years by passing  down your financial burdens to your children instead of planning for your own financial security yourself is dumb and unsustainable, but does kind of explain why my paternal grandma decided to have 9 kids, heh. It does also mean that it’s harder for your children to save up and move on with life though, especially in harder economic times, and is why this branch of our family lineage is likely to die out with us three kids — none of us can afford to or want to have kids of our own, and we’re not even sure we can support ourselves in our old age retirement as is.

Memory Snippet of the Week #102

In lieu of a memory snippet this week, I finally wrote out and expanded this old snippet from My Diary #021, originally written over two years and 100 weekly blog entries ago! It’s been a long time of gathering all the documents, scanning and uploading them, sorting through and dating all my photographs, and pulling the whole thing together, but that’s what came out of my  “constantly working on my blog throughout the week” this week, and this separate page for it was borne from all my efforts, hosting all my pictures and documents from it.

Dec 04 2023
  • I was playing a Sniper Elite style MMO with Satinel and a few others, and I checked her stats at one point while we were lurking outside some enemy building and watching a window for enemies passing by, and she had over 900 kills and 100 non-lethal takedowns. There were also training areas and regular areas outside of combat zones.
  • One of the training areas was some sort of large, round pit, and we trained pets there to race on a ledge that went around the pit, trying to complete laps as quickly as possible by cutting corners and jumping over the edges of the pit now and then. There was a lower circular ledge a little ways down inside the pit that would catch you if you fell, and vines that would let you climb up again, but if you fell onto that ledge, nine eagles would attack you and you would have to fight them off before you could come back up. We were explaining all this to a new dog pet that we had recruited, as one of our other pets, which was either another bipedal dog or turtle, demonstrated a run around the pit.
  • Jah had challenged her to some sort of bet that involved rolling up new characters and racing to do something, and they were trying to decide what Jah‘s punishment would be if he lost the race, which to me seemed to be very much the inevitable outcome. I suggested two outcomes, one being that Jah had to level up some new characters on an account for Satinel so she wouldn’t have to keep doing the newbie missions whenever she wanted to play a new character.
  • The other suggestion I had, since I happened to be standing next to two train tracks that crossed each other in a perpendicular cross at that moment and staring at the weird train track setup there, was that Jah had to try his best to avoid trains for the rest of the day. Trains were entirely cosmetic in the game as they had not implemented collision detection yet, so even though they rumbled by fairly often, players just ignored them and walked through them.
Dec 06 2023
  • I remember playing a first-person fantasy game where I started off with no weapon and a bad suit of armour, with a friend watching me and wondering what I would do as a new player. I walked around and found a room with a bipedal polar bear, plus two smaller bears or other creatures encased in red spheres that were rolling around.
  • The room contained two doors on opposite walls, but I could walk around the outside of the room to easily get to either door. The room also contained a lot of gear — there was an entire set of leather armour strewn around the ground, which would get my passive block skill up to 10 damage, which I knew would defend against the creatures inside the red spheres, though I wasn’t sure about the polar bear. There was also a nice sword sitting around, and a drawer which I eventually discovered contained a gold coin and a key.
  • By watching the enemies inside shuffle back and forth, I was able to time running into the room from whichever door they weren’t looking at, grabbing one or two items, and then running out the room again before they turned on me and became aggressive. I also managed to barely grab the key at one point between two of my fingers as the polar bear turned to look at me.
  • Eventually I picked up all the gear that way and decked myself out. At that point, one of the red spheres, whose shell I noticed earlier was cracking, rolled out of the room toward me, and the shell broke completely, freeing the creature within. Instead of attacking me, it said that it was finally free of the sphere and knew that this was bound to happen eventually, and needed to go find another red sphere nearby.
  • Snippet: There was also something about a large field with small dirt holes in the ground, similar to a giant game of whack-a-mole, and groups of similar figures or heads or something would pop out of them now and then. I’m not sure if the object of the game or scene was to destroy them, but different heads/figures definitely were linked to different ammunition types, there was one that represented sniper ammunition, for example.
Dec 07 2023
  • I was at home with Dad and Kel but was outdoors doing some leaf raking using a snow shovel. The entire leaf shovelling process was automatic, and the shovel floated around and did the cleanup by itself, but at the end of it the shovel was supposed to dump its leaf pile and navigate itself back to its starting position by our garage door. Instead, it floated around for a bit and got stuck on our neighbour’s driveway across the street. I had to go manually move it back to our garage and empty the leaves before shutting the door.
  • Around this time, I noticed that a 30 minute fog warning was issued, so I told Dad that if he needed to go do anything, like shovel snow or something, he had 30 minutes to do so before the bad weather hit. Dad was lounging on the couch in front of the TV and was reading some newspaper or something, and he said that he was fine.
  • I went to take a shower. While in the shower, the doorbell rang, and a lady going door-to-door asked if anyone was available to take a survey. Dad answered the door but declined but Kel accidentally wandered out of her room and got caught up in the survey, and was too polite to say no. She wondered out loud where I was. I overheard this in the shower and decided to give her a piece of my mind later, telling her that just because she got caught up in this doesn’t mean that she had to try to implicate others as well, but thankfully the survey lady didn’t seem to note this. The shower room itself was also slowly spinning around the outside of the house, so I had to keep on moving in order to not be seen through the windows of the room, but from my vantage point I watched the lady conclude her business with us and then wander off.
  • Snippet: There was something about a list of Japanese billboard songs based on seasonal anime, and how the charts had a number of strong songs that rose or debuted this week. I saw that beside each song was a delta change number, showing how much the song had risen or fallen (or whether it was new) that week, and noted that it was similar to my old song sheets.
  • Snippet: I was hanging out with two friends who were also a couple, and the boy would occasionally leave a couple of items for the girl that he had looted from a game that we were all playing together, that he thought she had not unlocked yet. Apparently you needed to have an item at least once and then could unlock it permanently. I accidentally took and cleaned up a couple of these items at some point though, including one that was some sort of blue cloth shield, because I was trying to clean the area up of clutter. I just offered to generate a new blue cloth shield afterwards instead since I also had the unlock already.
  • Snippet: There was something about a new 3D version of a database software that worked 10% slower than the 2D version released years ago, so very few people used it. A friend told me all about it while explaining how the software worked to a young boy that he had taken under his wing. The friend said he had about 1400 databases built upon the old version of the software and was comfortable with how it worked. I saw the box for the 3D version in the bathroom before I took a shower (separate from the earlier shower scene) and even the box had an apology message that said that the old version was 10% faster if you could still generate diskettes from it for your databases.
Dec 08 2023
  • On the way home from school, I sometimes took the train with Zian but she wasn’t there today, so I was travelling largely by myself. I saw Antonia at the train station too but we weren’t that close and she never waited for me so we waved to each other as she left on her train and I waited for my own.
  • Because I was by myself, I wanted to take a different route home today. My usual route involved just one train transfer, but about 20-25 or so train station stops. The route I was trying today only took 7 stops, but required more train transfers — I would travel one station west, then five stations south along the Circle Line, then one station east, and I would reach my home station.
  • However, being unfamiliar with the route, I hopped on an east train going the wrong direction at first, so I had to get off at the first stop and then take the train going back in the other direction, past my original station, and then one more stop west to the first transfer point.
  • I then took my planned route 5 stops south and one stop east without incident. Some stations I passed on the way were real Singapore train stations — Aljunied, Novena, Newton, and Simei amongst them. The exterior area of one of the stations I passed was also just a forest and mangrove swamp, but I remember thinking that some of that was going to be cleared soon for a new shopping mall, and how there would be an area outside the mall where an old man who was someone’s dad (and could easily have been my Dad) would earn his living manning a food cart, and a particular small area by a drainage pipe would become very meaningful and significant to him.
  • I waited for Kel at our final train station, one block away from our actual house, as there were rumours of some unsavoury people around that were part of a sports team or something. I admired the architecture of the building while waiting, as there was a red brick bridge stretching above us for some reason, and I noticed after a bit that the people around me were also admiring that architecture. I exchanged some friendly words about it with a woman seated near me.
  • A young man who apparently lived in the building above handed me a piece of paper as I was about to stop waiting for Kel and head home myself. It contained his phone number, scribbled on the back of a sheet with several other numbers on it. He said he’d show me what else was up there if I want and I politely told him that I’d call him sometime. I had no plans to however, and if we ever met again and he pressed me on it, I would say that Mom told me not to talk to strangers.
  • Later, I was playing a trivia quiz game with some friends and was a little bit behind in score, but we ended up at a category with cryptic clues which I knew I could score a lot of points on. Each of the six pictures in the quiz had a theme and a picture that related to it, for example #6 had a theme of Apothecary and its picture was a fence gate that was slightly open, so the answer was ajar/a jar. I had decent answers for a couple of the others too, like #5 had something to do with fowl/foul and either #1 or #2 had to do with a fruit, and I knew I had enough points to leapfrog over the other players into first place.
Dec 09 2023
  • Snippet: I remember a specific part of my dream where, as part of some game, I had to apply some modifiers to some things that were going to get some amount of something applied to it, and in particular there was a container that was going to have a larger amount of that something than it could hold added to it, so the modifier that I had to apply to that container caused its overflow to be redirected into another container that wasn’t getting enough instead.
  • Snippet: At another specific point in my dream, I was having dinner with some friends and translated a menu that was laying on the dinner table for everyone. There were five lines of Japanese text on the menu itself, and the first, third, and fifth line all basically either said tea (茶/cha or お茶/ocha) or large tea (おお茶/大茶/oocha). The fourth line contained a bunch of text and was basically describing a plate of rice with various types of meat and vegetables.
Dec 10 2023
  • I dreamt that I went to a booth counter at the Singapore border, this area looked very much like a train turnstile with attendants seated behind a library desk on the left side of the turnstiles. They were expecting me and had been briefed on my passport case, and as I had arrived early in the morning, one of the women greeted me and took my passports from me, as well as a bunch of ID cards and such. She asked for a few more ID cards that I had brought my last trip here, and had photos of them, but when I saw them I said that those were business cards and didn’t exist anymore. She accepted that answer. I told her that ICA had refused to let me renounce my passport in the past due to an ongoing case which didn’t exist anymore but wasn’t fully processed yet, so they had asked me to hold on to my old passport as well as the new one, and that was why I had two.
  • She returned all my papers and said that they’d let me know once my application was processed. I bid her goodbye and left back the way I came, into a multi-national train station, and took the train one stop east to South Korea. I then stopped, thought a bit, and took the train the other way again, back to Singapore.
  • I returned to the same counter, looking for the lady who had helped me — I recognized her, with her short bobbing hair and her glasses, and got in line behind three other people who were all asking quick questions. When it was my turn again, I apologized and asked for a time estimate — would it be two weeks? A month? The reason being that I was going to travel around the region and wanted to plan around that before I returned to Singapore again. She said that two weeks might be enough, or it might take a month, she really didn’t know, but to check back now and then as late as I could manage. I said ok and left again.
  • This time I went another way along the train line, ending up in Australia. Specifically, there were many stations in Australia, the railway system formed a figure 8 of tracks starting from a station one stop west and one stop south of Singapore. However, one complaint people had with the line was that it never actually stopped in the busy market area of the city, which was on the southwestern end of the figure 8, the tracks there just cut right through the district and stopped some distance outside of it.
  • On the train, I met up with Huihan, Satinel, and two other boys who I feel like I knew as well. While travelling, we were all playing a handheld game that I didn’t enjoy at first but came to figure out that it was decent. The game started with some sort of PvP until someone had earned three separate victory belts. Once he did so, the game shifted and a map with connected dots on it appeared, similar to a map of a train station. The belts would appear at one of those eight or so dots strewn around on the map, and we all had to move our cursors to it and spam press a Button 33 key on the controller until the game awarded the belts to one of us. That person would then win, and could deploy all three belts again and have them appear at another point and try to repeat the process.
  • I found out after a bit that each time the belt appeared, it spawned with a “health” of 200,000, and all clicks on it would reduce the health of the belts based on how much the person’s clicks had been upgraded. The person who dealt the final killing blow to the belts would “win” the round and get the belts. But you had to win a round to be able to upgrade the clicks in the first place, so I quickly fell behind and never got to upgrade mine since everyone else won early, so I never did win a round.
  • Occasionally some sort of losing penalty item would spawn for the winner to apply to one of the losers as well, and there was a guy who applied at least one of them to me, turning my character’s clothing into a bear suit. I vowed to get him back if I ever won. Satinel also did win a couple times and after one of her wins, she had to pause the game and delay the next round because somehow she had clicked so hard that her Button 33 had come unbound in the keybindings and she had to reset it.
  • Eventually, we reached our destination, and the four of us started walking around. We visited a CD store first, then walked for a long time on a pavement that started along the side of a road, then winded its way around parks and buildings. I walked behind the two boys and next to Satinel and Huihan. Huihan broke off from us at one point to take a nearby alternate path that led pass a fountain, and rejoined us when the path joined up with ours again after that. We ended up at another vinyl store eventually and I said that that was only really interesting to me if they sold CD as well. The boys had already gone in and were standing at the cashier with some vinyls that they were going to pay for, though.

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Asian Cities Primary Mathematics Contest 1996

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