Monthly Archives: February 2012

To Jellybean

Dear Jellybean!

Today Yiyi char char and Kor Kor kris kris (aka Aunt Char and Uncle Kris), went out and bought you a very cute set of one-sies! We also bought you a cute lil teeth/gum cleaner because good oral hygiene will take you far in life!

We cannot wait for your big entrance into this world and we love you very much even though we haven’t met you yet!

 

 

Love

Yiyi char char and kor kor Kris Kris!

Lawyers, Wandering, Food

Spend the morning-lunch period seeing a lawyer to get the VISA issues settled and I have concluded that

A) Lawyers are ALL about THE MOOLAH!

B) Getting a VISA for the US is really hard

Anyhow I’m glad we got to see someone  we paid a s**tload to talk to someone for 45 minutes, because getting a lawyer will help us expedite the process as they know exactly how to file the forms and what is needed at different points in the application process. It helps because we will not have to file and re-file if we get anything wrong. The entire lawyer fees and visa applications fees are more than what I anticipated but again, no choice. That’s how the cookie crumbles.

So for now, the difficult part will really be the interview in Singapore at the American embassy in August or so.

If for some reason I am not granted the VISA we want, we’ll look for other options then.  For now its just looks like paper work, more paperwork and many flights back and forth.

We’re just hoping everything goes smoothly!

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After the lawyer stint, we went for Cuban food around the block! It was like a little take out place, but there were some tables so we ended up eating at the lil cafe. This is what we shared:

Chicken fricassee (Chicken was moist and tender, yellow rice was yums!)

Potato Salad (Yum)

Tamale (Some cornmeal thingy which Kris enjoyed but I didn’t)

Leftovers!

After lunch Kris had to go back to the office so I ended up wandering from 34th street, along 5th Ave and all the way to Timesquare.

Did a little shopping!

Here’s Mickey from Uniqlo! Looking all handsome and adorable!

I particularly like how oriental he looks! What’s also interesting is that inside Uniqlo, it was mostly Asians. Maybe like 10% Caucasians/African-Americans.

Along the way, I took some pictures

Empire State Building

NYC Public library

Another angle of the library

View from Bryant Park (I should remember the name of this building but I don’t so whatever!)

Tired me resting at the chairs along Bryant Park

Bryant Park Winter Ice skating ring dismantled. Maybe next year!

Overall, after all the lawyer/VISA stuff sank in, it was a good day for me.

Till this guy at the hardware store really pissed me off.

I mean I was asking for 13/4 inch wood screws and the guy went like ‘DIAMETER?’ in this totally condescending manner, so I was like isn’t it standard?

Then he just went like ‘NO, it isn’t’, half shouting and giving me the ‘oh god why are you such an idiot face.’ I was a little annoyed but whatever I said to myself.

So then there were steel screws and brass screws, so I asked, ‘Hey man, whats the difference between these screws , if I just want to use it to put some hooks behind the door.

That idiot had the audacity to raise his voice and again condescending said, ‘One’s brass and the other’s steel’, and gave a big sigh like I was asking him to do something that his boss didn’t already pay him to do!

He wins the idiot of the year award.

I put down both packets of screws and just walked out of the stupid shop!

I mean what is with that attitude man!!!!!! Holy crap! He was again way bigger than me and because I was in a foreign land I didn’t bother to give him a piece of my mind. (Like a stern teacher would! HA!)

Oh well, I guess there are idiots in every country. The good thing so far about the US is that people(both men and women) open doors for me (Ironically, its my doorman that NEVER open doors) and nobody had shoved me in the subway yet. I say yet because I have never been on peak hour trains as yet, so there’s plenty of space and everyone is sorta civilized. 🙂

 That aside, so far I have been loving New York! So huzzah!

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Monday night I also met up with my bestie’s ex classmate from Singapore who happened to be working in NYC. We went and had Italian at Max’s in Tribeca. Food photos!

Both were awesome and we also had a mixed green salad, however I didn’t take picture of the salad. The salad was average, I can make a better salad! The gelato and lasagne however were super yum! I slighty regretted the ice cream on the walk home because it made me cold and hence my teeth was slightly chattering on the walk home! My friend Dorothy however informed me that this was spring temperature and that winter last year was much much worse. I guess I came at a good time then!

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Now I’m home alone cause Kris went to meet some clients for drinks and dinner around 40th street! Right where I was this afternoon.

To end the post, here is a random sunset with swirly clouds last week when it was super windy! Almost blew me off-balance!

America and the Death of Cuteness

When I first arrived in America, it dawned on me that there wasn’t anything cute here!

Cupcakes are pretty

Flowers are beautiful

Babies are adorable and sometimes, only sometimes cute.

But in general, nothing is cutesy here!

Kris explained to me that cute in American culture means childish and most adults chose to avoid that label like plague. I mean in American most people leave their homes at like 17 to go to college and hence you have a culture of fiercely independent adults.

Asians by contrast stay with their parents till they can afford their own homes and in Singapore there is no way you can afford any home on a single income, unless you spend every single cent of your pay check on housing and live on fresh air and love! I mean the median income of a Singaporean now is $3070. And the average rental costs of a common room  in Singapore is $800 (HDB), a master bed room (HDB) costs 1000 and a condo common room costs $1500 for a decent place. Do the math and you’ll quickly realise that it is because of practical reasons that most young adults choose/have to stay with their parents if they intend to have savings of any sort.

I digress, my post was about the death of cuteness and I have spent too much time on finances!

Anyhow as I was saying with this fiercely American and adult culture they have here, Kris has disallowed me to make this apartment cutesy in any shape or form. He has dictated that this is a ‘adult apartment’ and hence nothing cutesy can ‘survive’ in here. This goes against the very essence of my soul. I love cute things! I disagree that having cute things make you childish! I think having cute things makes you an appreciator of child-like things and therefore  makes you youthful and happier!

Hence I rebelled and went all ‘Occupy 20 exchange’ with my

1) Hello kitty bed sheets (courtesy of mummy)

2) Scott Cars Bathroom tissues (apparently they don’t call them toilet paper, too crude!)

3) Wise Owl bathroom mat!

**If Kris disapproves of these things, he can 1) Sleep on the adult couch, 2) Not wipe his adult butt and 3) have an adult shower in the sink** (I think I am so funny!)

However Kris is a wonderful man and besides, since 90% of the house is adult! 10% of cutesy things in the house should be A-OKAY! I argue vehemently that eradicating all cute things in my home is a lost of my rights as a human person! Hee hee *inserts melodramatic face*

Conversation with my ex student

Below is an exerpt of a conversation I had with a 16 year old. * I cut off certain aspects of the conversation and replaced them with ‘……….’*

“Yes, in fact, one of the reasons why I picked the NY trip is because I wanted to experience city life for what it really is. No doubt, the Americans’ lifestyles have constantly been negatively portrayed by the media, which doesn’t do justice to them at all! I believe there are so many other wonderful and unique aspects of their culture, especially the huge belief in freedom of speech and human rights! I’m planning to go into political science in the future, and so I certainly hope to be able to get some enriching insights out of this trip. ……………. Last but not least, I hope you’re doing well in America!  God bless …….” 

There is hope for the younger generation! This conversation ‘WOW-ed’ me because there are some educated adults that I have personally encountered and their world view of America and the world in general is no where as mature as this 16 year old! She was one of my favourite students too. I really really enjoyed having her as a student, she’s always attentive, handed in perfect work all the time with perfect hand writing.  Professionally, she helped me be a better teacher because she would always ask me difficult questions and that forced me to be ultra prepared for lessons! At the same time because of her enthusiasm I would invariably want to plan better differentiated learning lessons because I didn’t want to see all that talent go to waste! The part about her that that I loved was that she was really intelligent, humble and kind to her classmates.

I miss teaching.

I like having a break though, its so so so so wonderful having your own home. 😀

Cleaning is not so wonderful! But its good exercise

New York by Instagram (Battery Park to 1st Street)

Did a little bit of wandering today, my plan is to conquer NYC systematically because I am obsessive compulsive like that! Today I did Financial District (FiDi) all the way to 1st Street 😀 Walkabot is ME!

 

Vietnam War Memorial (Because I am a history buff like that! Its interesting to study/understand the Vietnam War from an American perspective as well as a SEAsian perspective)

 

 

 

St Andrew’s Church (One for my darling sister Iris!)

Building along Reade Street (I’ve always had a penchant for old buildings)

United States Court House

“The true administration of justice is the firmest pillar of good government” is on top of the Corinthian columns on the New York State Supreme Courthouse.

Chinatown!

The sky @ 1pm

Avenue of the strongest *flexes muscles*

 

 

It was a nice 3-4 hour walk. Had a Quinozs sub  for lunch and dropped by the grocery stall along John street before coming home to make dinner like a good housewife! Hur hur!