Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Diamonds are not forever

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Le bf has not bought the "proposal engagement ring" for me. We also have not purchased our wedding bands yet.

I have set my eyes on a few designs for the wedding bands. Instead of white gold or gold, we want it in Platinum. Those classic timeless designs that will not go out of fashion. Initially I wanted Titanium, but Tabby told me horror stories about how they had to use laser saws to cut off the rings from patients in emergency situations at the hospital and if the doctor slips just by a little, your finger will be sliced. Scary shit!!! She said Platinum is better cos it can be cut by a cutter and we can fuse it back later! :) Well, always better to listen to a professional doctor's advice. Haha! We'll hunt around before deciding on which ones because we are wearing them everyday! Forever! :)

I had my eyes on the Tiffany's Infinity Ring.. but I'm afraid that it will look too cutesy for me 30 years down the road when I am.. old. =X

As for the proposal ring.. the reason for the delay is because I am very choosy in the design of the ring. But most importantly  I think paying so much for a piece of rock is stupid. Seriously. It's just not justifiable!!

Not saying this because Le bf is stingy and doesn't want to buy me a solitaire diamond ring.. He really wants to and we have visited a few shops to look at rings. I am the one delaying because but I am very hesitant on letting him spend close to 5 figure sum on a shiny rock with no value. I don't need an expensive ring to boast or show off to the world how much he loves me. I don't need that ring to validate our relationship's progress to the next level (marriage)...

IT HAS NO VALUE! NO RESALE VALUE! NO VALUE WHATSOEVER!!

Go buy a diamond and then try to sell it the next day. Tell me how much you manage to get back. You will most likely only be offered 10% - 30% of the buying price!

I know we don't buy proposal rings to sell it later so we shouldn't think about the resale value.. but think about it.. just think about it logically.. Why would you spend $10000 on a ring that depreciates at least 60% of it's value the moment you walk out of the shop? Why? Because "if a man don't buy you a diamond ring means he doesn't love you?" or "It's not considered a proposal/wedding if there's no solitaire ring!" or "That's what every girl has! I also want!" or "If my boyfriend don't buy for me, we will both lose face!". 

Siao! (crazy)

Unless you are marrying a millionaire with tons of cash to burn, go ahead and spend a fortune on a ring because it's all about "face value" and he can afford it without bating an eye anyway.  But if you are serious about settling down with your boyfriend and start a family together, why do you want to throw a 5 figure debt / wipe out his savings / deplete his bank account on a ring?!?! You will most probably not wear it everyday and just keep it in the drawer.. especially when you have babies in future because the ring will scratch them easily.

Diamonds are not as rare as many people think. It is also not the rarest of all the gemstones, Rubies are the rarest, Diamonds are the hardest.

The idea of diamonds being a "precious stone" and it's association with romance and wedding proposals are all very successful marketing strategies of the most successful cartel business of our time, De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd. In fact, before 1938, the average price of a diamond is only USD80. Even factoring in the inflation and all, it is still a ridiculous profit margin!

Well, there's still 4 months++ to our wedding so I still have 1-2 months to ponder about this "ring issue".

Le bf is quite chill about it but he is hoping I can come around soon and agree on having a solitaire diamond ring so he can plan a proper proposal to ask me officially for my hand... Hai! WHY MUST PROPOSE? I already agree to marry him liao mah!! But the silly boy insisted that it has to be done properly in case I nag at him for the rest of our lives even though I say "I don't mind" now. LOL! Can foretell the future ah? =P

Will update again! :)
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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Wedding Stress

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At the moment I already had 2 meltdowns. Not those crazy meltdowns, but it's not good because it will give Le bf unnecessary stress when he sees me going bonkers and just crying for no reason when usually I am always in control and ultra-organized about everything.

First time was at the driveway at my house where I suddenly started crying for no reason because I felt so overwhelmed by the "to-do list" of our wedding.

The second time was yesterday when I felt so suffocated and stressed cos our budget for the wedding is just going over way over than what both of us estimated at first.. like wayyyyy over! I was also stressed out about the timeline because it's 5 months left to our wedding and I haven't found the bridal dress! We also have not bought the wedding bands and our guest-lists are not prepared yet! Invitation card need to be printed and sent out, and there's like a thousand other things that need to be taken care of!!

I am so thankful and blessed that Le bf is incredibly patient with me and did not lose his patience when I started acting all weird and weepy. God bless him.
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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Meet the Parents Part 1

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Today is the first time that Le bf's parents meet my father and his wife, Judy. We have to set a different appointment for his parents to meet my mother and Emama (mum's elder sister) because my parents had a messy divorce and not on talking terms.

We had lunch at Intercontinental's Man Fu Yuan restaurant. To ensure we had privacy and a good environment for the adults to chat, we decided to book the private room and pay the cover charge of SGD13.80++ per person which includes individual servings of tea (the cover charge of tea is SGD6++, so the room charge is actually SGD7.80++).

The place was good and the food was alright but kinda expensive. For a table of 6, the set lunch and cover charge came up to be around SGD450.. A big big hole in our pocket, but it's an expense that we cannot avoid.

It's strange to say "our pocket", but it makes sense because Le bf and I just opened a joint bank account together! We decided to have a joint account for our wedding expenses and future household expenses, and our own personal accounts for our own stuff. I think this is a great arrangement because instead of thinking "my money is my money, his/her money is also my money", we are taking shared responsibility.

If you and your partner can overcome the money barrier and willingly pool your money together, good job! You are on your way to a happy marriage! :)

Anyways, the meeting went well. Both sides have common topics to chat about and my father did not have any special requirements for the wedding.. no need to do a lot of traditional stuff and they leave the decision to both Le bf and I, and also his parents.

The unexpected thing and funny thing was my father and Aunty Judy discouraging us to go to Japan because of the nuclear radiation scare, and also telling his parents not to let me take contraceptive pills because it will affect our chances to have a baby next time. His parents then replied that both of us are not young anymore (wah lao eh! I am still young lah....... *sniff sniff*) and we should consider starting a family soon.... Then all 4 of them started hinting openly that they are waiting for a grandchild and we should plan to have one right after the wedding.. Mai-tu-liao!

T_T"
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Monday, April 22, 2013

My Religion

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I seldom talk about religion in my blog because I believe that everyone is entitled to their own choice and the free will to make decisions for themselves. You choose who you want to believe and who you want to follow.

But today I am going to share a bit about how I became a Christian.

I started going to church with Le bf in August last year and accepted Christ in December. Before I got together with Le bf, I was an atheist who don't believe in God, but believed in fate. Why certain things happens, who we will meet in our lives, karma and stuff.

I was a born Buddhist. It's written in my birth certificate. I've grown up with my grandmother so I've always accompanied her to temples when she go and give offerings and burn joss-sticks. She will make me kneel in front of her and clasp my hands together and pray to the deity asking for blessings and for me to grow up well and have good results in my studies. So I have quite a good understanding and exposure to the prayers, festivals and stuff since young.

I had some knowledge about Christianity and Catholics because I attended an all-girls Catholic Secondary school which I hated. I hate that the school was not my first choice. I hate that 99% of my good friends are in other schools. I hate my mother for forcing me to go to that school because she thinks "it's a good school" and I won't have boyfriends since it's an all-girls school. Guess what mum? I had a boyfriend since Sec 1 and subsequently few boyfriends from other schools. Stupid mentality. But anyway, we had like bible classes, chapel sessions, daily prayers, mass, saints day and all the religious stuff which they forced on everyone despite their beliefs and religion because we 'chose' to go to a Catholic school so we must follow their ways... but I think times have changed now.. not too sure cos I refuse to be their alumni and I don't want to be associated with them at all cos some of the teachers I had were full of shit and I just had lots of bad experiences there.

Also, I had very bad impression about Christianity when I was younger cos of the City Harvest craze where they kept recruiting new members and being so over the top with their sermons and all the preachy shit of the those new age pastors and nonsense seminars. I attended a few cellgroups and were so overwhelmed by the amount of bullshit going on, my eyes nearly fell out from all the rolling. Like seriously! They were saying things like "Please pray for me because I am having a stomachache and if you pray for me I will not feel like shitting.".. Seriously? Got shit go and shit lah! Pray simi-sai!

I guess it's not about the subject but the person who introduce you to the subject that matters. I hated Mandarin classes but I had good Chinese tutors who managed to make the subject more fun and interesting when they tell me about Chinese history and proverbs.

Le bf is a Christian but he never ever forced his religious views on me, from Day 1 when we were classmates till we got together. He led by example, showed me how he lived his life and I was curious on how strong his faith was. He's not those crazies that preach about God non-stop telling people they are going to hell, inserting biblical references in every conversations or doing any of the preachy crazy shit. Instead of telling me, he showed me the way.

He did not ask me to go to church with him, he let me follow him at my own pace and own comfort level. I woke him up by giving him a morning call every Sunday (though I did not follow). Then one day I decided to ask if I can go to church with him and see what it is like cos I had bad experiences at other churches before and had a prejudice which I wanted to overcome. Then I started to join some of his cellgroup sessions and found out that his cellgroup mates are really friendly and fun people who are just normal people who believed in God and the word of the bible.. After a few months of joining church service and cellgroup sessions, I decided to accept Christ in my life and be a Christian.

My friends were surprised (and shocked) when I told them that I've convert to Christianity. Some questioned my motive, asking if I did it for the sake of Le bf or his mother. Well, the true reason is known by God and people can say what they want to say and I don't really care because their thoughts and criticisms doesn't matter. The ultimate judgement is from God and He knows everything that I've thought about and even things that I've not yet thought about.

Well, many people said I've changed a lot.. for the better. In terms of looks, composure and attitude. I am a happier person now, I look prettier & happier cos I don't worry so much as before, I am a calmer person who don't fly off the handle at every little thing. My sister also commented "Wah! Last time you confirm ki-siao and get angry! Why are you so calm now???". I have a more positive outlook of life and believe that my life is good and will be better because God is with me all the way. Even when I die, my soul will go to Heaven where I can spend eternity with my loved ones without suffering in Hell. Dying is not scary, the scary part is where you are going after you die.

So they asked me "Tell me your secret! What did you do?". The secret is no secret. If you have a strong faith and belief that God is real and He can protect you from anything, then you have nothing to fear. Just leave all your fears, doubts and worries in His hand and He will provide.

I believe that I have a full time guardian angel by my side.. there's a few occasions where there's divine interventions in my life which cannot be explained but I credit it to my guardian angel. I've shared about those experiences with my friends and they may think I am lucky or it's just a coincidence, but I believed I was blessed and protected by my guardian angel and God.

I always joke with Le bf that one day when I die and finally meet my guardian angel, he will bring out a super thick book and say: "OK. Now we have eternity to chat and let me tell you how busy you kept me throughout your life....", then we will laugh together. :) Also, we believe that our guardian angels are good friends now and must be saying "Finally the two of them are together! Took them long enough!!", because our lives crossed 6 years ago.

Though my expenses are still very high and we have additional costs to pay for our upcoming wedding, this month I decided to start giving tithe to our church. A tithe is 1/10th of your income that you give to the church voluntarily as support for the church. I used to scorn this concept and think that the people who willing give up 10% of their income for the church is brainwashed and stupid, but a phrase I heard from our cellgroup friend changed my mindset. She said "it's not giving up 10% of your income to God, it's God allowing you to keep the remaining 90%.", and that's so true. Everything we have, all that we have is from God and giving back 10% to the church to help them doing good deeds and spread the word of God is just a really small contribution that I can make. I am healthy, young and have the best paying job out of my whole working career life, all are God's blessings.

I am also studying for the Baptism Class before I can get baptized  Hopefully I can finish reading all the books and assignments by June in time for the next Baptism.

I hope that my friends and people I love will embrace God like I did, but I will not preach or force it on them. I will lead my life together with Le bf as an example on how two God fearing Christians can have a happy family and marriage life together because of God's grace and mercy. Amen.
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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Wedding in Yangon!

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I went to Yangon, Myanmar (used to be called Burma) with Le bf in 2012 to attend our classmate, Le Yee's wedding. She is from Myanmar and she came to Singapore to study. Now she's moved back home and is doing business with her husband.

The trip was way back from 30 June - 03 July 2012! Heh!

In case you don't know, Brendan and I met in SIM while we were studying for Diploma in Management Studies. It is a useless diploma designed to cheat people's money IMHO.. but the good thing that came out of it is I met my future husband there! :D

I still have A LOT of backlogged travel blog entries. Unlike many other people who are super excited to blog about their holiday trips, sometimes dragging out a few entries for a short holiday, I am super lazy to blog about my holiday trips. I don't know why, I just am. I blog about mundane stuff but not the interesting travel posts... Maybe I am just unwilling to do so cos I don't want to relive the whole holiday and feel sad cos I am in Singapore and not out there somewhere? Haha! 

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We flew on Myanmar Airways cos the timing for Silkair was quite weird last year. Now there's more choices for flights to Yangon cos the country has "opened up" to the outside world. Lots of things has changed in the past year.

Arrived at the airport and there were two distinct queues for foreigners and locals. Guess which queue is longer? The local queue was CRAZY LONG! The foreigner queue had a grand total of 5 people including Le bf and me. 5!!!! The local queue was so long it stretched from the escalator to the immigration counter (quite a long stretch), but there were 2 officers serving 5 foreigners. Kua kua kua.

But anyway, before we flew there we had to go apply for a visa. I can't remember how much we paid.. I think it was around SGD60 per person. We had to go to a dodgy travel agency in Peninsula Plaza to do the visa application. I was so afraid they will close down and run away with our passports... LOL! Now you can do arrival visa if you fly there, an option that was not available last year. (See how backdated this is? Haha!)

Le Yee's friend came to the airport to pick us up! She was holding a small hand written sign with our names but we couldn't see her cos the airport was packed! Luckily we managed to call Le Yee and she asked her to go meet us at the main entrance.

The taxis are super duper dodgy to the max in Yangon. Like seriously dodgy!! Thank God we were ferried in an Alphard on the first day and most of our stay. We had to take the cab a few times when Le Yee was busy and I was so traumatized.

I forgot why Le bf looks grumpy here. Haha!

I think it's wonderful to have friends all over the world....! When we flew there to visit, we get to experience the place as a local with the option to do touristy stuff if we want to. Go to nice yummy places and most importantly feel safe because we have a local bringing us around. ^_^ So far we have Le Yee in Yangon, William in Penang and Tabby in Perth. Le bf has friends and clients in other parts of the world so we can explore them next time!!

Local currency

The exchange rate is super erratic, but it's around SGD1 = 700MMK. You get 700 kyats for every 1 Singapore dollar, subject to fluctuations. It's like playing with paper money cos the value is so small.. We brought USD there and changed USD50 into kyats so we can use that for taxis or small purchases if needed.


After 20mins drive, we arrived at our hotel. Le Yee got married at Sedona Hotel so that's where we stayed for 3 nights. You won't believe how expensive the hotels are in Myanmar.. the cheap ones are so fucking dodgy.. a seasoned backpaper will think twice about staying there. There are very few luxury five stars hotels there as the country was "closed up" and not much tourists visit. There are many luxury hotel chains that began building their hotels while we were there.. I think they should be completed by now.. So you will have more choices now. Hopefully the rates went down due to competition.

Our 3 nights stay came up to USD700++ and that was after I got a discount as a travel agent staff! That's almost SGD300 per night! It is more than a normal person's one month salary!! And it's a super plain and simple hotel, though by local standards it's considered ultra luxurious.

We got a corner unit, so it was larger than the normal rooms. :)

Everytime we travel, the moment we put down our luggage, Le bf will start unpacking his techie stuff. He will lay out the wires, chargers, set up the wireless router thingy so we can have a few device tapping into the wifi network.. At the end of the trip he will also pack all the techie stuff up nicely. I love it cos I usually just dump the wires in a bag and have a hard time trying to access the wifi network and stuff.. Now all I need to do is wait for a few minutes and everything is up and running! :)

Complimentary flowers and fruits to welcome us!

Amenities in the bathroom..

Picture time while waiting for the car. 
The bride, Le Yee is the girl in the middle.

She brought us to the food street and kept buying food for us. Non stop. Buy and buy and buy and buy, and afterwards brought us to have Prata for dinner!! She stopped at almost every stall to buy a small packet to pass around so we can share and have a taste of local food. The food is similar to Thailand's.. There's also Satay, sweet cakes, fried stuff, etc.

There was a total of 8 of us that night.. all of them are our SIM classmates. Actually they are Le bf's friends cos I was a loner back in school. Long story. Haha!

After the sinful but yummy dinner & snacking, she brought us to "the only tourist attraction in Yangon". Well, I believe there should be more attractions now.. but last year we really didn't have much choices.

This is the entrance to the famous Pagoda!

Le Yee said the country's wealth is displayed publicly for all to see at the Pagoda.. all the jewels, gold, diamonds, precious stones are stored here.. and the tip of the Pagoda is a large diamond or something.

We had to remove our shoes to go in.. Since it's troublesome to carry and we can't leave it outside in case someone steals them, we left our shoes in the car.

We walked one round around the Pagoda.. the compound is HUGE!


It's a pretty place to take pictures at night cos the lighting is very good. :)

Gong Gong.. So that's Day 1 of our trip in Yangon! 

Actually, Le Yee's wedding was split into 2 days. The first day was on 30th June for business clients, government officials (her dad is a government officer) and second day on 31st June for her friends and relatives.. Due to miscommunication cos Le bf can be so blur sometimes, he thought it was wedding dinner for 2 days but it's actually wedding breakfast! Yes, the event was from 9am-11am and we flew in on the first day thinking it was dinner but ended up missing it cos we arrived too late. So we only attended the 2nd day's wedding.. which was a waste because the 1st day was the traditional one and the 2nd day was the more modern one. Le bf kept apologizing about his boo-boo... silly boy.

On the 2nd day, we woke up really early to see the wedding preparations! It's like some drama production cos there were teams of hair stylists, makeup artists and SO MANY PEOPLE around!


The theme is silver! Previous day was gold (too bad we missed it!).  Since it's a morning wedding ceremony, we had plenty of time to explore the city before the small family dinner with the bride and groom at night.

Chio hair must take selfie!


Nothing much at the malls and markets.. I mean, we have everything and more in Singapore. Myanmar is just starting to open up to the world so there's a lot of things that are not available there. Lay Yee told us that only recently did they had Coca Cola in the country and people went crazy over it. There's no fast food like Mcdonalds or big international hotel chains, but I guess that will all change really soon cos a lot of businesses will be rushing to invest and set up shop there now.

The dinner was awesome! We went to this seafood restaurant and had local cuisine. I really don't know the name of all the dishes, heck I didn't know what some of them were.. Hahahaha! Le bf was the adventurous one trying everything.

Next day we went for breakfast at a local cafe! There have wifi! WOOO!

10,000 Kyats is approximately SGD10.00
Lay Yee said it's big money there.

Then the 3 of us went to a cafe for coffee! The rest of the Singaporeans left cos they stayed for 2 nights (the correct 2 nights to attend both weddings. LE BF SOTONG!). Lay Yee's husband was busy so she brought us around. We sat for hours at this quaint cafe cos she wants to know all about our love story. Hahahahaha! She is curious how we became a couple since we were all classmates.


Afterwards we went to this local eatery for more local food! It looks so pretty and some of the items were really foreign to me.. Really good experience and I am glad to have the chance to catch up with Lay Yee cos I was a loner in school last time. Le bf was the one with all the friends. Hahahaha.

Ordered room service for dinner cos we didn't dare to wander around outside by ourselves.

The airport is newly renovated and it's really pretty. Not much shops and restaurants around but I guess that will change in a few years time.. Haha!

Everyone has to fill up a departure card


By the way, Singaporeans need a visa to visit Myanmar. We had to apply a few weeks before departure. They will paste a sticker in your passport. Now you can do a visa on arrival so it's not so troublesome.

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