So we’re clear: RECEIVING GIFTS is not my love language. 😉

Of the five so-called love languages, mine is QUALITY TIME. I’m NOT talking about being 24/7 up in my face. Ew. I’m referring to the intimacy or spark of something along the lines of five hot minutes together. Each minute, each second, EACH glance is worthwhile and meaningful. Money for gifts can be earned. Time that’s poorly spent? Meh.

This translates to one thing: EXPERIENCES

Years and years of writing travel itineraries for family, friends, and loved ones. Countless times of booking tickets to new attractions and restaurants. Pop culture, movies, films, video games, learning new languages, finding the best version of my favourite food… I mean come on. I deflate quietly whenever I get asked: What do you want for your birthday?

The quick answer: I want anything or nothing. The cliché goes: It’s the thought that counts. If you know me, you wouldn’t need to ask.

The long answer AKA your 2021 “cheat sheet”:

  1. A subscription to Calm.
  2. Tickets to the Singapore flyer.
  3. MagSafe charger with a 20v brick.
  4. Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan.
  5. A self-curated whiskey trip.
  6. A black or grey Apple watch strap.
  7. A new pair of workout gloves.
  8. Filipino recipes cookbook.
  9. A romantic picnic by the beach.
  10. Trying the city’s best sushi.
  11. Midnight / disco bowling.
  12. Visiting the cloud forest at Gardens by the Bay.
  13. Dinner at my favorite izakaya.
  14. Having a Filipino boodle fight, with a twist.
  15. Mario Party with friends.
  16. Hiking at Coney Island.
  17. A subscription to Headspace.
  18. A Wacom tablet.
  19. New pillows.
  20. Wooly mammoth stuffed toy I saw at Palais Renaissance.
  21. Brunch at Merci Marcel or PS Cafe.
  22. Stargazing from the best spot in the city.
  23. Biking at East Coast Park.
  24. Cupcakes. (But not the ones from Twelve Cupcakes which exploits foreign workers.)
  25. A Peranakan cooking class. Or, any local cooking class.
  26. Practicing yoga with me.
  27. A Japanese flash card set.
  28. Scrabble.
  29. The Singapore edition of Monopoly.
  30. Back to the Future movie night.
  31. Home-cooked food.
  32. Wine-tasting class.
  33. Canoeing or kayaking. A new way to appreciate an old stomping ground.
  34. Coffee tasting.
  35. Cocktails at Atlas.
  36. A pack of ped socks.
  37. A book about dealing with anxiety.
  38. Tickets to Jurong Bird Park.
  39. A revisit to the Southeast Asia Aquarium.
  40. Picnic and cocktails at Sentosa – at a beach bar I haven’t been to before.
  41. Visiting Madam Tussauds Singapore.
  42. Riding the cable car in Sentosa.
  43. Lunch at El Mesa Moderne Filipino in Clarke Quay.
  44. Scened candles from Bath & Body.
  45. Crate & Barrel gift cards.
  46. Anything pretty from Kinokuniya Bookstore.
  47. Middle Eastern food. The best one in Singapore.
  48. An Apple pencil compatible with my iPad 7th gen.
  49. A Moleskine notebook. Annual but un-dated.
  50. Tickets to go see a play.
  51. Camping.
  52. A staycation at The Fullerton, Andaz, or JW Marriott.
  53. The best bak kut teh in Singapore.
  54. The best Malaysian-style bak kut teh in Singapore. The addictive herbal type.
  55. The best burger joint in Singapore.
  56. Brunch at Shake Farm Telok Ayer.
  57. Go-karting. Because, Mario Kart.
  58. Seeing any new exhibit at National Gallery Singapore or Asian Civilisations Museum.
  59. Play miniature golf.
  60. Offering to help me declutter my space and discard unwanted items.
  61. Bake brownies as an activity.
  62. A 90-minute massage. Head, shoulder, and/or foot.
  63. Cocktail making class.
  64. Beer flight / beer tasting at LeVeL 33.
  65. Dinner at a good steakhouse.
  66. Lunch at Hard Rock Cafe.

If you completed my crazy list, you’ll notice majority are experiences not material things.

This was a rant. ✌🏼

I turn 36 next Tuesday.

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