img_1476

I’m so lucky to have you, Jon.

30/10/2016

Love, cheryl

Advertisements

Heyyyyyy.

Uni life is so tiring. Every term is filled with assignments to rush and there’s submissions every week 😦 Okay la, I’m only in term 2 but I say like I study very long already lor hahaha. Like how I need to submit my CCO105 social research TMA on Monday but I’m too lazy to even get started haha. It’s not me, it’s my procrastination to blame huehue.

In the midst of the very fast-paced life I’m living, I’m still thankful for the little things that keep me going: Mom’s cooking when I get home from a very tiring day of school, the dogs, every Saturdays to spend with Jon, and sometimes meet up with close friends.

For me, poly to uni is a huge jump. Firstly, I haven’t been studying for about 1.5 years, and starting to study again is something I find really hard to do cause i never liked studying. (Not to mention the lack of income -> broke kid again 😛) Secondly, uni is all about self-directed learning. You’re basically on your own, there’s no more spoon-feeding like poly. The lazy side of me hates it, but the other side of me is really benefiting from it because like you’ll start to be independent knowledge-wise. Although I’m always complaining about uni, I’m really thankful to be able to be studying in a soon-to-be local uni (shitty GPA in poly 😅). Would say that you really don’t have it easy in uni, but you need to just keep on going. Jiayou Cheryl!!!

Counting down to 81 days/ 3 months till my next getaway. SO EXCITED.  JAPANNN✈

Time to get back to work, byebye.

P.S. Happy belated Birthday Jon 😚 You’re probably my only reader now hahaha.

” I wish I hadn’t spent so many Mondays wishing it were Friday.  I also wish I made better use of those Fridays, for better stories on Monday.”

Love, cheryl.

Hello world,

IMG_0948

I’m into my second week of university life now. School is only 1 day a week, but yet I am still struggling to adapt to this new lifestyle. Uni is just so different from poly. Everything is self study, self discovering.

Our orientation was a week ago at OBS. Due to my eczema, I wasn’t able to participate in the outdoor activities, so I’m being placed in the guest-group. It was a 3d2n thing but we didn’t get to stay over due to our conditions, and thus we had to sit a ferry in everyday. So, what we did for the 3 days were to plan for our fellow cohort-mates costal cleaning. I really love how they (our facilitators) are so open to our ideas. Everything is student-ran, while they only guided us. I am also so thankful that I found 2 friends, Sharon and our GL Jun Cheng, who was so nice and fun to be with! I really enjoyed spending the 3 days with them 🙂 3 days ended really quick and it was rather bittersweet, and we really wished we could have more fun together.

IMG_1026

Well, wish me luck in uni. I really hope I can survive this!

Also, happy birthday to ma fav girl

IMG_0966

Till then.

Death. A word that I’ve learnt since young, yet seemed so foreign to me.

It did crossed my mind before how I’d react when someone close to me dies. Still, this thought always puzzles me. Should I cry my heart out because I’ve lost someone I care about? Should I stay strong and hold my tears, so that I can comfort someone else? Or should I be happy because that person is at ease now? I’ve never encountered death of someone close to me till recently when yeye passed away.

Death is part and parcel of life. Death is inevitable. When your day comes, you leave every earthly material you own behind, bringing only memories. When yeye passed away,  I cannot help but think that death isn’t intimidating for the one that is facing it. It is, however, nerve-wrecking for the people around you. When you are lying there, close to your death, there is nothing you could do. But the people around you, they see your breathing starts to slow, your mind starts to slip consciousness, they scream, they cry, they panic because they know they are gonna lose you. For good.

One moment they are there, sitting and talking to you. Another moment, they lie there unconscious. Oblivious to our pleas for them to just look at us one more time. Hear another sentence of ‘I love you’. Hear the ‘sorry’ we were too proud to say. That’s the thing about death, it is always harder for the living, the ones that are left behind.

Yeye opened his eyes to looked at me as I sat by his hospital bed, and then closed again and  gathered his energy for a nod in recognition that I have come to visit him. We sat there for hours, don’t know if Yeye is gonna make it through the day. Then his breathing starts to get slower. 28 breaths per minute. 20 breaths…. we braced ourselves for this moment. We know Yeye is gonna leave us for a better place. We know Yeye will stop suffering. We know that this is part of life, that we all are gonna face it one day. Yet, yet I cannot help but bawled my eyes out. I was the lucky granddaughter. I am the oldest, had all his attention to myself for a brief moment. I don’t remember much about my childhood with Yeye, because he was a reserved person. But I do remember the subtle gestures he did for me, how he would bring me watches from his workplace, how he would urge me to eat more of things I like, how he would change the channel to cartoons for me when I’m bored. When I grew up, my interaction with Yeye lessen, yet his concerns for me did not. I remember how I came back from Greece, and we visited him in the hospital, he was smiling and said that he was so worried for me and glad that I’m back. Such small gestures that said ‘I love you, I care for you’ in his own way.

I can’t really explain how I cope with the lost. I cried my heart out away from people, then tell myself it is for his better, then tried to distract myself, then keep them deep in my heart. Yet, when I was up at grandma’s house, my eyes unconsciously dart at the chair yeye always sits, hoping to find him there. One week ago when we visited him, he was still in good shape. And the next, he was lying motionlessly in the coffin.

All I can say now is that I hope yeye is in a better place, no more pain and suffering. My first death experienced really showed me: life is short, you cannot bring anything with you when you die, whether you enjoyed life or not you’ll still die anyway. In honor of yeye, I hope to live my life more fulfilling, do the things that I want, visit places, and just live life. Live in the moments.

爷爷,谢谢您这些年给我的爱和照顾。一路好走。您永远都会留在我的心中。

Till then.

Departed from Singapore on 20 June 2016

Day 1: Athens

21/06/2016. We arrived in Athens International Airport, placed our luggage in the luggage locker and began our adventure. Rode a bus to Syntagma Square, grabbed some lunch at a nice cafe, got our SIM card at Vodafone and then head to Acropolis Museum. We bought a hat as a ripped-off price, but that’s only because the sun was so unforgiving. The museum was huge and filled with many artefacts, and I can just imagine seeing them in their full glory. Oh what a beauty they would be! By then, we were so tired from all the travelling, we headed back to Syntagma square for dinner at KFC (haha, ikr). I was so amazed at how the sun didn’t set until like 8.30pm! After dinner, sat by the Old Royal Palace and watched the change of guard and just chilled there for a bit. We sat bus X95 back to the airport (tip: do buy the bus ticket early, cause once the shops are closed, you won’t be able to get them, and there were people who were unable to ride the bus because of that) Back at the airport, we washed up like hobos in the toilet and just found somewhere to crash.

Day 2: Mykonos

Got on our flight to Mykonos! It was at like 5:35 AM, crazy early. When we arrived at Mykonos, it was only 6ish AM, and this wind was SO crazy. Can you imagine, it was as if we were by the beach at night, and it was just so different from the super hot weather in Athens. This random lady even said to me: “Welcome to windy Mykonos” when she heard our exclamation about the wind! So it was still really early, and we decided had a nice breakfast at some cafe. After which, we dropped our luggage off at our hostel’s reception and headed for our day’s itinerary, Delos. While we were walking to the ferry terminal, we were so marvelled by the pretty streets and we kept stopping to take photos and admire the streets that we almost missed the ferry!

The first thing that came into my mind when we arrived at Delos was “this is a friggin’ barren land”, which was true! There were nothing but ruins on this small island, but it was an amazing sight. We followed the guide whereby she told us some history about the island and the ruins, and then we had to explore it ourselves. We trekked up to the highest point of the island in slippers. Can you imagine? It was crazy tired but so worth it. When we were on the way down, we kind got lost. But the fun kind of lost, haha. Headed back to Mykonos where our night activity was to party, but was so tired from the previous days and we just crashed for the whole night.

Day 3: Mykonos

Woke up early after some adequate rest from the early night, and visited The Windmills and Little Venice before we left the main square of Mykonos. I love how pretty Mykonos is, every turn is shades of white and blue. So beautiful I can’t even tell you enough. Afterwards we checked-out of our hostel and head to our next hostel: Paraga Beach Camping, and it was by the beach! Wasn’t time to check-in yet when we reached, so we chilled by the pool side where we met Hartley, this really nice Aussie that chatted with us and told us about his travel stories. Anyway, our hostel there was a mini tent which was kinda cute, but really hot. Our shared toilet was really clean, which I was so thankful for. We continued our day by heading to Paraga beach. The beach was really nice!!!! It has the clearest water I’ve ever seen and I was just so awed by it. Vania went snorkelling while I enjoyed my afternoon on the sun under the umbrella. At night, Hartley brought us to the neighbouring Paradise Beach. Party freaking starts at 10PM omg. It was SO WILD!!! I totally underestimated how people in Mykonos love to party! AT about 12:30AM, Vania was so high and we stumbled back to our hostel across this like a small road along the rocky cliff without any street lights. Next day, we were kinda amazed how we actually made it back. Thank god, haha.

Day 4: Naxos

We took a ferry from Mykonos to Naxos, and arrived shortly at 10.30AM. I think Vania’s and my first thought about Naxos was “where is everybody?” Seriously! It was a 180 degrees change of environment because there was literally less than 100 people on the streets. We then came to realised that Naxos is not a “popular” island for foreigners and thus free from the touristy crowds. Also, shops are only open early in the morning and late at night. In the afternoon, locals would be either by the beach or sleeping.

Anyho, we deposited our stuff in our hostel and headed to walk around. Had lunch at ‘Pizzadelia’ which sold really really awesome gluten-free food! We visited the castle, which was just an old street of Naxos. Very beautiful architecture but because of the long walk and crazy night at Mykonos, we were like too tired to appreciate it’s beauty 😦 We continued to walk around but there were no shops open, so we gave up and head to the beach near our hostel. The beach was very very quiet and it was just so different from Mykonos. Yup, we spent the afternoon complaining about how we missed Mykonos already haha. Near dusk, we chanced upon a super breath-taking sunset by the pier before dinner. The crazy us also actually climbed a small hill to visit Temple of Apollo after dinner (we were too early for the bars). It was a pretty nerve-wrecking experience! The walk to the hill was a stretch of road with the ocean by the sides. It was high tide then! We grabbed on each other like we were holding on for our lives hahaha. It was so pretty there at night, we just laid on the rocks to watch the stars. When we were heading back down, Vania sprained her ankle so we decided to call it a night.

Day 5: Naxos

We signed up for a day-tour which brought us around. Some sights were: Sanctuary of Apollo and Demeter, the incomplete statue of Dionysos. We also visited the local winery which offers Ouzo (a kind of citrus alcohol), pottery, the olive press museum which served super duper delicious Olive Oil cake and the Chalki (an old town). At night, we wanted to experience their night life, but was wayyyy too early again! We finished dinner (at Pizzadelia!!!) and pre-drinks and it was only 12AM, but the hype doesn’t start till about 2.30AM. Crazy right? Their bars are actually opened till 9AM!!! We gave up waiting as we were dead tired from the day tour, bought a crepe (best crepe we’ve ever eaten) and laughed all the way back to our hostel hahahaha.

If you’d ask me, I love Naxos because it’s so peaceful and quiet here. Very relaxing. 2 days here really helped me to be more laid back from the hectic city life. Not to mention that the streets of  the island is gorgeous as well. Food and accommodation is also more affordable compared to the touristy places.

Day 6: Santorini

We bid our goodbye to the hostel owner’s adorable dog and made our way to the ferry terminal to Santorini. Our accommodation at Santorini was downtown of Santorini at the Beach area. As we were on the bus to our Airbnb, my thoughts were “where’s the pretty Santorini we see in pictures?”, because along the way were all barren land and abandoned/rundown building. After checking in, we had a rather late lunch at Tranquilo (the bar owned by the same Airbnb owner). Food there was cheap and fantastic. I had a really big portion of Balsamic Chicken Rice. Currently drooling as I’m typing this hahah. So it was pretty late after that, and we decided not to head to town. We chilled by Perissa Beach, which is also known as the ‘Black Sand Beach’.

Day 7: Santorini

Vania signed up for diving while I made my way to the town (Fira). It took me really long to catch the bus, argh. As I reached the town, it was so populated with tourist, really. There was nothing much at Fira too, just expensive shops. I decided to have a nice lunch first as crowd is really not my thing. Had this plate of really good beef covered in tomato sauce! After lunch, I was being adventurous and trekked my way to the next town, Imerovigli. On my map, it says half an hour walk, but I think I took about an hour HAHA. It was uphill all the way, which was really tiring. View there is much better than Fira, but there was nothing there. Just expensive and pretty hotels. Admired the view for awhile and made my way back to Perissa beach for dinner with Vania and her diving instructor (Gareth). Gareth was really nice, he gave me a volcanic stone that he found underwater. Vania picked one up for herself too. We asked a lady that sells necklace to string it for us. Ahhh, so precious. Gareth’s such a crazy guy; lived as a fighter in Russia, a MMA fighter, travelled 64 countries by busking, got shot and got into many car accidents before omg. Somehow, his way of living really inspires me. He’s really free-spirited and does what he enjoys. Money cannot buy the vast experience he’s lived through. “Live in the moments”, he says.

Day 8: Santorini

We signed up for a day tour which brought us to: volcano, hot spring at Agios Nikolaos, island of Thirassia and Oia for sunset. The hike up the volcano was gruelling for us. Firstly, the tour group was so huge that we lost them several times. Secondly, the sun was super unforgiving. The volcano is dormant, thus we got to smell sulphur along the way. Honestly, I thought that it wasn’t a very good experience, as the view at the top was not very nice either…. we were like zombies when we returned back to the boat. Next was hot spring (which I didn’t go down, but Vania say the water wasn’t hot) and followed by lunch at a small island of Thirassia. We were then ferried to Oia, where we rode a donkey up to the cliff. The donkey person was so rude and I didn’t even manage to get a nice picture with the donkey 😦 Anyway, Oia is a more traditional town in Santorini, which is also the prettiest. However, it was still only filled with shops, hotels and a countless of tourist. Vania went to cliff-jump, while I spent my time in a cafe (lady was so unfriendly). We ended the trip by catching the sunset with a gorgeous view of Oia.

An item ticked off my Bucket list: Sunset in Santorini.

If you ask me, I would say Santorini is too overrated. Not as dreamy as what people say or in pictures. Just marketing gimmicks I would say. Naxos and Mykonos was comparable. Except that they are not caldera. Perhaps I would stay a day in Santorini just to catch the sunset in Oia, but 3 days was definitely too long, unless you’ll like to chill on the beaches like us. Vania did mentioned that the dive was good though.

Anyhow, I would just like to say that Santorini did show me something important: that destruction can create a beautiful mess too. Santorini is a remnant of the volcanic caldera, after an enormous volcanic eruption that destroyed the earliest settlements on a formerly single island for the last about 360,000 years ago.

Day 9: Athens

So we had this long search for our AirBnB. The apartment was damn far from the metro and we were lugging our luggage under the freaking hot sun. Can you imagine our frustration? After we final-freakingly reached our Airbnb, we just collapsed and had the sweetest nap till dinner. Shisha-ed and just talked and chilled by the streets at night. (sg y u ban shisha :(!!!) Streets at Athens are not as safe as the islands though.

Day 10: Athens

It’s our last day here in Greece, and I must have been really tired because I overslept for our walking tour oops. We made our way to a street with lots of cafe, we kinda happened to pass by this gem while going to the Acropolis Museum on the first day. Since it was our last day, we wanted to have a good meal. Sat down at Estia (we were completely sold by the guy after he mentioned all the awards they received from TripAdvisor) and ordered sooooo much food. We had Feta cheese, vegetable soup, Hummus, pita bread, Salmon and gyro (main course) and Baklava. Baklava is their signature dessert here in Greece, and it’s so good!!! I think we spent a total of about 60ish Euros just for lunch. Continued our day by shopping for souvenirs. I bought my very own pair of greek sandals from The Poet, the famous sandal-maker, woohooo!!! Damage was 40 euros though.

Our last activity was to visit the Acropolis –  Parthenon, the Propylaia, the Erechtheion and the Temple of Athena Nike, but was swiftly chased down after awhile cause we went in kinda late. Before the climb, we were like saying our prayers because we had so much legs day for the past few days. Thank god it wasn’t hard to climb! We saw the Theatre of Dionysos on our way up too. We also saw other archeological sites, like the Arch of Hadrian, but only from bus passing by there hahahah fml. Again, Acropolis was really overrated to us. As it was pretty much destroyed during the war, it’s now under a major reconstruction. I feel that they kinda put too much emphasis on the reconstruction, that people could not enjoy the history of it instead. Also, there were barricades everywhere and we can’t go near the buildings. We ended the day by having our final dinner in Greece at the same street where we had lunch at. So emotional :((((

Departed from Athens on 1 July 2016

I can’t believe we made this insane 5-minute decision to go to Greece. By far the craziest and best decision I’ve ever made. It was like a dream-come-true. Eucharist polý Greece, you have been an amazing experience, one that I will not ever forget and will always hold closely to my heart. Thankful for the really nice and helpful people we met along our journey and thank you God for keeping us safe throughout this journey.

I hope my next getaway will be another incredible one. Let’s see where my wanderlust brings me. I do hope I will get more chances to travel to Europe though.

Till then.

I’ve to deal with this everyday. Itching, scratching, painful ordeal caused by this eczema. So often i get glares like I’m a freak. So many time i just want this to end. Have it ever crossed my mind that thing would be easier i just died? Yes. Many times it actually did. I can’t tell anyone enough what i’m going through because honestly who would understand?

I’ve prayed to god, everyday even, to take this eczema away. I’ve cut down on gluten, dairy products. I’ve started eating vegetable. I’ve done all i can. Yet it doesn’t go away. What else can i do?! I really don’t know anymore.4

Hello World,

Not a good time to post because I’m supposed to go out soon to celebrate grandma’s birthday, so I shall make this quick.

I’ve just returned from a 8-day trip to Malaysia, Cameron Highland > Ipoh > KL. We took a 8-hour train ride from JB to KL, followed by a 2-hour car ride to Cameron. It was a great trip with mom and dad, and dad’s friends. As you grow up, you’ll spend lesser time at home, thus time with family is always so precious.

I didn’t quite enjoy Cameron. Firstly because the weather wasn’t as cold as before. Secondly, it’s infested with houseflies. Thirdly, it wasn’t strawberry season yet when we arrived, thus the strawberries were sour 😦 I think this trip to Cameron really make me appreciate my living environment in Singapore more than ever. We don’t have to eat in a housefly-infested environment whereby we cannot stop swapping houseflies away and eat in peace. The food at the night market were also housefly-infested and you wouldn’t even want to think of buying the food. We also visited tea plantations, although I was hoping that we would visit opium plantation, as mom said she visited them years ago. But I guess they closed down haha.

(I am actually back from visiting granny)

Ipoh was a food haven. The food streets were filled with local delicacy that can’t be found here in Singapore. Although I kind of guess that food were better in Ipoh due to the stronger taste (saltier, sweeter etc) of the people there. I personally enjoyed their beancurd, fish soup beehoon and salted chicken!  We also visited Kellie’s Castle and a few of the limestone cave temple. However, there isn’t much to do there, so we were stranded at the hotel at 7.30pm for the 2 nights we were there.

I visited 2 of my cheer friends, Sandy and Weiliang in KL. KL was our last destination and we spent 2 days there. I think it was one of the best highlight, because I got to meet up with my friends I haven’t seen in awhile! They brought me around for really awesome food (nasi lemak, thick toast, pan mee, snowflake, burger, chatime), boy I was so bloated at the end of the day! We went for ice-skating, archery and shisha!! Had so much fun talking about cheer and our cultural difference, kept laughing and chatting about everything under the sun. How I enjoyed their company and I really really miss them so much right now!

Anyhow, I hope grandma will be okay soon. Guess what tho? YASSS, my macbook is finally here 😀 Excited for the next trip!

Till then.