Thursday, August 21, 2014

To See You Once Again, Maya

Farewells are hard, especially when best friends are involved.

One of my best friends, Maya, left Singapore for good over the weekend. I had a long time to get used to the idea of her leaving, since she announced this decision to do so around three months ago, which is probably why I didn't bawl like a baby when she left.


On the afternoon of her last day in Singapore, we had a karaoke session in a newly discovered place in Pasir Ris. The place is called Ten Dollar Club because it only costs $10 per person for 5 hours of karaoke and bottomless drinks. You could even order food from their partner and they had lots of old and new songs, and even Tagalog ones! Why didn't we know about this place before? Tsk tsk.


Maya's most favorite hobby is singing, so we knew she would enjoy this one last chance to do so in this country where she lived for four years. Huge thanks to Jemma for organizing this!

While we were singing a Westlife classic, I suddenly realized that we could change the words "my love" to Maya, and pretty soon, we all chimed in to sing this:
So I say a little prayer
And hope my dreams will take me there
Where the skies are blue
To see you once again, Maya

Overseas and coast to coast
To find the place I love the most
Where the fields are green
To see you once again, Maya

Several ginger teas later, we sadly vacated the premises, with the last song (Backstreet Boys' All I Have to Give) still ringing in our ears.

We then went to the airport and had dinner at Swensen's, where we had a lively discussion about the most famous Mayas and Annes and Maries (all her names/nicknames) in history. Gay and Leo joined us there.


I then asked Maya the question I like to ask everyone who leaves: "Except for the people because you will obviously miss us, duh, what will you miss in Singapore?"

"I will definitely miss feeling safe and secure," she responded, to which we all nodded in agreement. "Also the aircon."

She then explained that all of Singapore indoors places are air conditioned, and the only time we ever feel hot is when we have to walk from one indoor point to another, like when you have to walk from your house to the bus, then from the bus to the MRT. Haha.

After polishing off our meals and desserts, we brought Maya to the departure area, where we hugged her goodbye and bid her well and hoped to see her soon. She will definitely be missed, but we are happy for her because she is finally fulfilling a long time dream of going back home.


xoxoxoxo

Dear Maya,

I remember you once told me that you are excited to read my old blog posts and reminisce about our moments together, so I decided to do you a favor and make that a lot easier for you by collating all the posts that have you in them.

Call this a throwback Thursday, if you will.

Have fun reading and reminiscing and see you next year! :)

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

Bonus Reads

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

My Guilty Pleasures

I decided to join in on this month's Total Social and post my guilty pleasures at this particular moment in time!

Venus Trapped in Mars

(1) Watching celebrities participate in the ALS ice bucket challenge.

Because it's fun and for a good cause - raising awareness and funds for ALS.

My favorite so far is the one done by Bill Gates, because he was so creative with it, not just jumping straight to the waterworks like others do but showing himself watching the video where he was nominated by Mark Zuckerberg before he went on to brainstorm and build a contraption to pour the water on him. I like how geniuses think.


I also loved watching Chris Pratt (who was also creative with the vodka ice), Robert Downey Jr (who had a little toy Thor with him when he nominated Chris Hemsworth), Ben Affleck (who dragged his wife into the pool with him), and Tom Hiddleston, who wore a white shirt, had the dreamiest accent, and then nominated Benedict Cumberbatch. I wonder if he'll participate? I hope so!

(2) Vanilla Coke with lots of ice.

This is my favorite soft drink, I now realize, because ever since I discovered that it's being sold in this one 7-11 store near my train station, I've been buying one every night. Help.

(3) Watching Charmed reruns on TV.

This was my favorite show back in high school, and watching it transports me back to a time when life was a lot less complicated.

(4) Ben and Jerry's hazed and confused core ice cream

I can eat an entire pint by myself in one sitting.



(5) Asking Siri silly questions


(6) 9gag.

I'm on there more than on any other app on my phone. In fact I find out about news from there. Oh the shame.

(7) Blogging when I'm supposed to be doing something way more important.

Like what I'm doing right now.


What are your guilty pleasures?

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Cat Cafe @ Bugis

What do you when you love cats but can't have one for your own in Singapore? You go to a cat cafe, that's what.


Okay so that intro is hardly original. I used it for my dog cafe post. Oops. :P

Might as well use the next few paragraphs of that post, eh?

First things first - what is a cat cafe?

A cat cafe is a cafe which has a bunch of cats that you can pet and and play with. Great idea, eh? This idea apparently sprung from Japan, where someone realised that there was a need for stressed businessmen to relax by bonding with felines and came up with cat cafes.

That became so popular that the craze has made its way over to Singapore. There are currently 3 open cat cafes on the island, with 2 more slated to open soon.

The one we went to is the second one to open here. We chose it because it has a fixed rate of S$15 and you can stay for as long as you want, unlike the others which charge by the hour.

My friends Arlyn, Armar, and I were supposed to go on a Saturday but when I called them to ask what would be the best time to go and if they accepted reservations, I was informed that they only accepted walk-ins and that Saturdays were not a good time to go because they were usually very full. Sundays were not good, either. So we decided to go on a Tuesday after work.

It's pretty easy to reach, you can take the MRT to Bugis, then cross the road towards Bugis Village. Look for Burger King. To the left of it there is a sign which leads to the slightly dizzyingly spiral stairs that leads to the third floor where the cat cafe is located.


Upon entering, it pretty much looks like a regular cafe, with the typical countertops and menu boards.


The entrance fee is S$15 as I mentioned earlier, and that comes with a free softdrink, but if you fancy a different drink, you can top up. They also have real food and pastries.

In front of the counter is a rack for shoes. You're supposed to remove yours and put on their clean slippers. Aside from that you are also supposed to sanitize your hands before you can go play with the cats. Here is their complete rules list:


Beyond a glass door lies the area where the cats are. There are currently 19 cats, all of which were ex-strays or cats abandoned by their owners. They were rescued by Kitty Care Haven and have now found a home at The Cat Cafe.

There are lots of ledges and towering thingies for the cats to climb up on, along with tables and seats for humans. It's quite spacious, clean, and colorful, actually, and Arlyn mentioned that it was a lovely place to just stay and relax, even if you're not here for the cats. I have to agree.


I love the Japanese-style seats on the floor and small tables. 


I just wouldn't recommend trying to eat a piece of cake on them because cats will definitely try and eat it - that I promise you. There was a funny moment when I was holding our strawberry shortcake aloft above my head because a certain mischievous cat pounced on the table to try and eat it. We decided to finish it quickly because we're not supposed to feed them human food. It was delicious, by the way.


You can buy cat food for $3 which you can use to entice all the cats to approach you. That is why all the cats in the picture below are looking at the girl with the food.


The cats are not friendly, though. I don't mean to say that they're mean, but they don't exactly snuggle up against you and they have a tendency to leave when you try to pet them, which I realize is probably just typical cat behaviour. One of the guys said that the friendliest cat was unfortunately fast asleep and you're not supposed to wake her up. Sad. :(

Nevertheless, we did enjoy the moments when we were able to pet and play with other cats.


We couldn't remember what the cats' names were, so we gave them names we came up with ourselves. The cat on the bottom right in the pic above, for example, had quite a big nose, so I decided to call her Barbra Streisand.

Then another cat, the one on the upper left, kept on sniffing and pawing at our bags like she was a detective or something, so I told her, "Don't you know that curiosity killed the cat?!?!" Armar and Arlyn cracked up at that.

Too bad we had to eventually tear ourselves away from all the pretty kitties.

Oh, and before we left we also asked where the kitties did their - umm - business, and the guy asked us to guess. As I looked around, I noticed that there was this thing with pipes running from it, and it turns out that was where it was. Very well hidden and not at all smelly, because the pipes apparently suck the smell out or something. Quite ingenious!

It's really a nice place, so do check it out!


The Cat Cafe
241B Victoria Street Level 3
Tel No: 6338 6815 
Website: http://thecatcafe.sg/

Operating Hours:
Monday: 3pm to 10pm 
Tuesday – Sunday, Public Holiday: 10am to 10pm

Age requirement: 
6 & Above only. Children under 12 must be accompanied by adults

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