I have a friend who’s a hairstylist. His name is Johan. I had no idea his hairstylist nickname was simply, Han. I also had no idea he was working at the hair salon that I enthusiastically booked last Thursday. I wanted to try a new place to get a haircut.
It’s the first time I get my hair done by someone I actually know.
During the hair washing portion, it felt like 10 minutes of gossiping about each other’s lives. I enjoyed it because… well… Han was one of a handful of people who were there for me when I was struggling in early 2018. I remember getting invited to watch him perform in drag. He’d share videos of his performances at a church event. Then, he competed in Drag Wars. Today, he’s part of a drag house in Singapore.
And last Saturday, he landed a gig which was to perform as part of RIOT! drag revue by Becca D’Bus. I feel like I’ve seen him grow and find his art.
He’s been through quite a bit in his life. But he’s turned that into art. He fixes hair and makes people happy. He performs on stage to express himself as Opal… contributing to the growing modern drag scene in Singapore.
First of all, bummer that my brother couldn’t join us for this! He was in Bangkok for a work conference. The parents and I flew in on a Thursday evening. We were only in Bangkok for a total of three short days… and I wanted to get the most out of it.
So I booked a Thai cooking class as a surprise activity for the parents. It was a booking I made via Klook. I’ve been to Bangkok numerous times in the past few years, but I hadn’t experienced a Thai cooking class before. Seems like a great activity to do with the parents on our first day in Bangkok.
We took a Grab from our hotel to get to the Sompong Thai Cooking School. First, we gathered with other cooking students (mostly Korean, if I’m not mistaken). Then we were brought to a local market nearby to learn about popular ingredients used in Thai cuisine.
After collecting the ingredients and learning about them, we made our way back to the cooking school nearby. It was about a ten minute walk (comfortable, slow speed).
When we entered the cooking school, we discovered we all had cooking stations and some items to keep.
The best part was learning how to cook four dishes! Yes, FOUR.
Thai chicken curry
Thai fried rice
Tom yum soup
Thai potato dessert
It was a fantastic experience.
Definitely, I recommend the Sompong Thai Cooking Class as an activity to do while in Bangkok. It’s also an activity you can do with your senior citizen parents.
Honestly, I don’t know how long I’ll have an opportunity to work at this great company. I’m just grateful it’s taught me SO much. On various levels! On a professional level, I’m learning about content marketing, reporting, measurement, optimisation, and truckloads of acronyms (which sum up even more learnings) across two business lines. On a personal level, I’m learning how to manage stakeholders, develop a stronger voice, and other interpersonal skills that have me at my farthest from my comfort zone.
Quite a number of challenges but I’ve learned from them. And we look at challenges as opportunities at growth. I have that growth mindset and I’m using it to overcome any doubts I have as I try new things.
Thankful in one year I’ve seen Dublin twice, San Francisco, and Sydney. Through those business trips I’ve had stopovers in London, Tokyo, Paris, and Frankfurt. I’ve met loads of amazing people from diverse backgrounds. I get to work with a team that’s young and eager to teach me new things.
Ah, yes. The Singapore Botanic Gardens. It’s probably the very heart of the garden city. Sadly, I’ve almost forgotten about it. I frequent Marina Bay, Tiong Bahru, the Singapore River, and places like Fort Canning. But the Botanic Gardens? It’s slightly further away.
We had a couple of reasons to visit the Botanic Gardens this past weekend. But the reasons weren’t really urgent or compelling. Maybe we just wanted some fresh air. Maybe we wanted to spend time doing something different and… well, free.
The Botanic Gardens was a little dry this time around. There hasn’t been much rain recently and you can see it in the greenery. They look a little thirsty! Still beautiful… the space dedicated to plant life.
There have been changes at work recently. It’s great I get to travel. But I’ve been doing plenty of thinking about the direction I’m headed. I’m learning so much and I work with great people. But I want to go where I feel stronger and more confident.
I’ve a few things to unload onto my blog. I hope I can get to them soon. In the meantime, I have some photos to share.
Starting with a trip to Swee Choon in Jalan Basar with my boyfriend and his flatmates. It’s kinda rare we get to go out together. In fact, I think I was the one who initiated it. I’m happy the gang was pretty much game for dumplings.
Another photo I’d like to share is from Paul’s condo in Kallang. With my dragon boat team out of the picture these days… my social circle has been reduced greatly. The most meaningful interaction I get are with my college friends.
In September, my brother had a business trip in Bangkok… which was an opportunity for the family to follow him there for a weekend. It was a pretty quick weekend but we managed to stuff it with as many things as possible like a Thai cooking class, a private day trip to Ayutthaya, some night market shopping (barely, barely… it was raining and we were tired). At least we managed to squeeze in our annual trip.
A day later I flew down to Sydney, Australia for a team offsite. It’s my first time down under… and my first time that far into the Southern Hemisphere.
Of all my offsites, it was probably the most enjoyable. Well-paced. Lots of learnings. And ample ‘extra’ time to explore Sydney and its neighbouring areas.
I’ll be blogging more about Australia very soon.
Lastly, for this quick update… my boyfriend. ❤
We’ve been together for over 14 months now. I can’t believe that time has passed by that quickly. He’s teaching me patience. AND WAIT. That’s not a bad thing! Friends and family close to me would know that I can be impatient… bitchy, and moody. But with PJ, I’m learning to calm down, to chill, to think before I speak, to be more loving and kind. He has that effect on me. 🙂
I’d like to open up about my anxiety. I feel it’s peaked a little bit in the past two weeks.
These anxious thoughts.. I now try to think of them like cars passing by. And you’re sitting on a sidewalk and you can simply watch them pass by. No need to react or feel anything. They’re just cars.
This blog is all about roaming the Bicol Region, Philippines wisely on a budget. We'll talk about what Bicol has to offer when it comes to great hotel deals, good food and where to go on your vacation. So, I hope this blog site will be helpful to those of you on the look out for great deals while you have fun in Bicol. Also, I will be sharing what my life here is like and some of the things that I find interesting in my side of the world.