#coffeesnob Struggle

First you become a snob to instant coffee.

Then you become a snob to big-chain coffee shops.
Then you start brewing your own.
Then you become a snob to packed pre-grounded beans.
Then you become too picky on the beans’ roasting dates. Seeing a month-old beans can make you cry.
It’s probably kinda like life. The more you go deeper, the harder to find depth. And you kinda feel that every thing, deep or shallow, are all equal like for nothing.
I guess it’s best to stop the coffee snobbery level at Starbucks.

Of Life, Death, & Tangled Yarns

Finally, this blanket crochet project of my mother is done. 

Probably 6 months before her terminal diagnosis, she got into crocheting again. I could remember when I was small, she hooked a lot. She would make small pieces of table accessories to dresses for me, which I did not like to wear because it’s kinda heavy.

When Karla of @damgocebu (check IG) started making dreamcatchers sometime in 2014, I remembered my nanay’s crochet hobby. So I bought some materials for her, printed out patterns. Then, she started working on blankets for my kids. She had done one for Margaret and Mateo. She just had started for Miguel, but was never able to progress much because she’s feeling all sorts of “not-feeling” well. That’s when we got the diagnosis.
When the diagnosis came out, probably to cope up with it, she said that she would just go home and finished Migi’s blanket. But she got weaker and weaker. It was painful to see her getting frustrated of not being able to even hold the hook. So we promised her that I would finish it in case when she really needed to “rest.”
So slowly I took over the project. I begged her many times to pick an easier pattern because the pattern looks complicated (I’m a very beginner.). But she refused because Migi chose the pattern, and she kept saying that it’s an easy pattern. How could I say no to a very sick person?!?
Anyhow, I took it as a way for me to take my mind off from the sad situation — my own coping too. Then I stopped when she got so “balisa” (needy and probably in much pain). 
Then I continued working on it again after she finally went into eternal rest to take my mind off from the recent happenings.
Then I stopped working on it again because I feel “grief” looking at the yarns. I stored it away from my sight.
Then, my uncle Ambo was back from Africa (He’s OFW working in Africa for 4months then home for a month then back again.). He was here when Nanay passed away. They were saying she was waiting for him; she passed away a day before his flight back to Africa, and so he had to cancel his flight to attend the interment.
So seeing my uncle, it means it’s been 4 months already. How time flies.
Somehow, I should finish it already. We kinda need to move on. 
(That all-yellow patch somewhere in the center is what my nanay started.)

Thank you for this, nanay! It’s a beautiful symbol from you about life, love, and maybe death. 

[SG Day 6] Boredwalk

06/04/2016
Finally, my last entry.

It was a rainy Saturday morning, which was best spent being still under the sheets. I had to move by lunch time because hotel food’s probably expensive.
I took the Changi Boardwalk to go to the hawker instead of the bus to take a look of the boardwalk. Duh! 
Boats for Pulau Ubin Island are in Changi, beside the hawker. If you want to see a different kind of SG, Pulau Ubin it is.
There’s a little “market” beside the hawker station in Changi.
My last chicken rice for this trip.

We’re supposed to go biking at the East Coast Park in the afternoon with Mark’s cousin and his wife, Cindy. But plan got canceled, and so we ended up in Dutch Colony coffee place.

Then decided to go home after.

(So much love… I have so many photos of train PDAs. I find it sweet actually.)

We got down at Tampines MRT station because it has a bus interchange station, which means there would be a lot of people, which would mean there would be a lot of food choices.

And we’re in luck because we stumbled into what seemed to be a “Halal” food bazaar.
There were all kinds of kebabs

It’s easy to differentiate the Indian food.

But when it comes to Malaysian and Indonesian, the Asian in me is useless. They all seem to be fried.

We were seated a bit near to a Muslim family. That’s when I noticed how important for the girls to really cover their hair because the brothers kept teasing the girl, while she tried to fix her burqa so as to hide all her hair.

(The Muslim family at the back.)

And, home-bound.

[SG Day 5] Auntie of Singapore

06/03/2016
[SG Day 1] Itinerary: Live Like a Local
[SG Day 2] Local Finds
[SG Day 3] The Blogger

That mundane daily life of the people living in the places I visited has always been something I wanted to experience but it’s just that hard to capture them in a short time you stay in it. I really wanted to feel how it is to be there behind all the department of tourism marketing, and instagram drool-worthy photos. 

I probably have mentioned it here many times that I could just sit in a corner and just people-watch over going to a theme park. I mean people (behavior) are way more entertaining than the shock-and-awe theme parks or tourist spots.
So on this day while Mark was in seminar, I decided to have my own seminar. Kidding! I attended some kind of a knitting session. I was going to be an AUNTIE of Singapore.
So from Changi, I commuted to Chinatown and went to the Golden Dragon store we visited the other day (They have free knitting lessons but only if you purchase yarns from them.) It was like traveling from Danao to Cebu City; this, I don’t know if an Auntie of SG would go that far just to learn to knit.
The knitting area of Golden Dragon was like in a waiting area of a school, a mix of young hip females with their cool projects who come and go, and then mostly the “oldies” whose kids are grown up, or those older single women knitting baby wears for their nieces and friends’ babies. My conversation with them was quite limited just like my learning to knit was because I really had a hard time understanding their Singlish accent. But it was nice to hear them talked about a bit of their projects, and also taught me from time to time with my knitting.
(Photo from Cindy.)

Cindy, wife of Mark’s cousin & my grade school classmate, followed me. She was probably weirded to see me holed-up in that “boring” place. 
I was planning to stay there for 2 hours but Cindy ended up trying to learn to knit also. So it was already late in the afternoon we’re able to get out.
Just like a good “host,” she toured me to Clark Quay and to the obligatory Orchard Street after. She brought me to the biggest bookstore in Orchard Street, though I felt Fullybooked BGC is bigger. But it has more book titles. The kids / young adults collections are really so big. Meg would really go crazy. I had to control myself to just pick the titles the kids were asking me to get because there were a lot of interesting titles. 

It was already peak hours when we went home! Tight standing-only trains all through-out, then looking at my NextRide app and it says 30 Bus stops, talking about mundane routine. Then you go to the hawker, and the enthusiastic “uncle” serving his nth teh tarik of the day to you, it’s that warm mundane kind of thing

I dunno if I had done the Auntie-ing right… I no care, just give me my teh tarik! @.@


[SG Day 4] How Old Are You On Your 1st Train Ride ALONE?

06/02/2016

I was so happy to be riding a train for the very first time on my own alone self! It was like a “Eat, Pray, Love” moment for me! Being able to make it in on my own getting the right bus to the right train station to the right train carriage was Achievement unlocked. 
So I snapped a selfie of myself inside the train, and was on the process of bragging it on the worldwideweb “insert amazing moment caption #blessed FIRST TRAIN RIDE BY MY OWN AT AGE ?!?!?.” 
And I stopped midway of posting that historical train ride selfie, when I was like what, FIRST TRAIN RIDE AT AGE OF 35?!? 35?!? 35?!? Really 35?!? Dafuq 35?!? Do I get it right?!? Is it really 35?!?
And the supposed victorious moment turned sour, and into a multi-emotions of someone going thru mid-quarter-life crisis. So now that you ride a train on yourself at 35, what does it make you now?!? Are you now making the world a better place?!?
Remembering the kids riding buses alone, is being able to ride the train alone at a bit old age makes me less of a person?!?
Well there are other older people who probably have not been on a train yet. It’s not right to judge a person based on riding a train alone and age, right?!? Yes, definitely not! 
Rose, you’re 35, I better know how to choose my battles right! Definitely, this meaning-of-life-based-on-train-rides is definitely a battle I should get off. So there, slay! 
Here’s a better battle: which of these 2 selfies should I post? Or maybe I should photo collage them?

World peace!
——
MORE PHOTOS OF DAY 4:
Concrete jungle of HDB

We went to a coffee bean roaster located in an HDB. This was the 2nd coffee roastery and cafe in 1 that we visited in SG. One thing in common is that both are located in HBD.

The Old 3rd Wave and New 3rd Wave Coffee Culture Side-by-Side: Tiong Hoe Specialty Coffee


In this side, you can get the coffee beans used in traditional Singapore Kopi Tiam. The beans here are way cheaper like SGD1.40/100gram. But I learned that coffee beans in Kopi Tiam are not pure. They’re mixed with sugar and other stuff during roasting.

Beside is the more hip, where you can get those single origins and house blends coffee beans.

It was fascinating to see the starking difference of the 2 shops. The “old shop” was managed with the older generations. ๐Ÿ™‚

No-frills. Their customers here are also the old people buying beans in boxes, and loading them to their vans.

While the new coffee shop was manned by young gens. They’re probably the children of the older gens. And comes with it are all those hip interiors and accessories, and latte arts. ๐Ÿ™‚

That rock climbing shoes

The reason why I need to ride the train on my own was to get Migi’s climbing shoes. For some reason, this child chose a sports where gears are hard to find locally. @.@ We should have stick to tennis.
A runner friend based in SG suggested DECATHLON. It was a very huge sporting shop, with Chinese-ish brands. 

Changi

On this day, we transfered to Changi area. Mark attended seminar hosted at a hotel located here. Thus at 35, I needed to travel on my own as Mark was in a seminar. 
——-


[SG Day 1] Itinerary: Live Like a Local

[SG Day 2] Local Finds
[SG Day 3] The Blogger

[SG Day 3] The Blogger

06/01/2016
[SG Day 1] Itinerary: Live Like a Local
[SG Day 2] Local Finds

The blogger posed at Macritchie Trail (MRT). 
I have a love-hate relationship with the place we’re staying at SG because train station is bus stops away, and it’s quite off from the city center. So travel is a bit of 1st-world inconvenience, having to mix buses and few train lanes transfers before you reached the city center (not that we always go there). Plus there are monkeys loitering in the area / bus station but i think the monkeys are more of love. ๐Ÿ™‚


But all those “hate” would go away after having a quick jaunt at MacRitchie Trail, which is just across the place we usually stay in SG.
(Entering Macritchie trail from our area is like teleporting from the very urban city to the “forest.”)

I know we have a lot of this back at home, our trails are way even prettier even Singaporeans would agree. But a manicured trail complete with toilet and water stations and directional maps and signs in the middle of the city is like wow for this #3worldgirl probinsyana girl, and PERFECT FOR BLOGGER ACTION POSES.
The trail is routed around the Macritchie Reservoir so it has a pretty view right after your trek around the trail. 
But a more peaceful area of the reservoir is at the Lornie Trail area as it has less people.
And just like that you’re back to the highway. (There are many trail routes with different distances in MRT as short as 5k; the longest is probably around 15k. For a longer one, I think what locals usually do is connect to Bukit Tima through paved roads, and what seems to be the back areas of houses and buildings. I did it once and I could not help but think why do I have to be awkward going through the back of the houses or buildings serving as trail pathways when we have definitely have a better one back home.)
I’ve never been to Sentosa, Universal Studios, Night Safari and other attractions of SG but I visit MRT every time I get the chance to be here because I love nature. Kidding! I frequent here because it’s FREE. As Mark would say, “enjoying the Singaporean’s richness they work hard for.” 

The blogger posed with the window. @.@


Our airbnb we’re staying has a beautiful window. I wish I could steal it and take it home with me. 

The blogged turned #foodblogger pose.
What’s the chance of having a cousin-in-law got married to a grade school classmate of mine in Badian?!? 
(Nakadulhog daw mi sa among bukid.)

We had coffee and brunch at this place owned by a syphon barista champion, Stranger’s Reunion. Cindy and I talked a lot that I forgot to pay attention to my coffee that seriously all I could say, which is probably unfair, that I could not tell much difference from what is served at Micky’s Cafe here in Cebu. Among the manual brewing, I think Syphon is on top of my list (but still if done right. #chos).


The blogger posed at the Split Type aircon alley. 

Making the most of getting lost…

The blogger posed as travel blogger at Everton Road.

This place has so many pretty doors. 
They’re prettier than the blogger. ๐Ÿ™‚
The blogger posed at Haji Lane.


After getting disappointed by not being able to get any coffee beans from

Nylon roastery, Cindy brought us to Haji Lane because it was something like Everton Road, perfect for more blogger poses. Haji Lane is a like a food / fashion strip. There were a few hip coffee places and restos but we were just so full yet so all we did was pose.

The photoblogger.
There was a leather bag shop that really smells good. The smell of the shop was really good. Thankfully, all I did was smell. =) The prices were okay though.
While we were walking there, my mind kept saying that this place is very familiar, that it felt that I’d been there already. It was later on that I realized that an ad of Visa featuring Haji Lane kept popping up in my instagram feed, when I was busy stalking #fashionbloggers. @.@

We went to another a must stop, Novena, for sporting gears. But thankfully, there was no interesting stuff on sale. 

So the blogger went home and posed as #travelblogger on Peak hours. 


—–

[SG Day 1] Itinerary: Live Like a Local

[SG Day 2] Local Finds





[SG Day 2] Local Finds

05/31/2016
[SG Day 1] Itinerary: Live Like a Local

So much about trying to be “local,” we went to Chinatown. I was hoping to find some yarns and 2nd-hand books for the kids. A friend pointed me to check Chinatown. 

But i guess we just want to tour-ist, sightsee, and people-watch — FINDING LOCAL.
But first things first, FOOD. We went to Chinatown Hawker, which is like in every list of top 101 hawkers of SG, which happens to be read by 101 tourists. It was not really that crowded when we’re there, but the few popular stalls had long queues. Plus there were a lot of tourists like us who were like walking around clueless trying to make sense of what to eat. So it kinda felt awkward.

Being not a local, I honestly cannot tell which nasi lemak or laksa or chicken rice is better or not so I’d just pick any stall that looks convenient to  me. So thing is I might just go to a NOT popular hawker center, where I can leisurely be clueless.

Anyhow, the laksa I got was good!
We then went inside People’s Park Mall. It was quite a maze inside. You can find so many things that it makes harder to find what you’re looking for. 

Chinatown can be touristy on the outside, but once I get into the insides of it, somehow, I need a bit of local knowledge.  There are teas, massage parlors, eatery, and all kind of butingtings. It’s like going downtown Cebu; the few popular are Sto Nino Church, Fort San Pedro but if you want to get something from Manalili or Carbon, it’s a bit tricky.


Anyhow, after going around, I found the yarns at Golden Dragon Store. They’re so yummy that it makes me #craycray.

I did not find 2nd hand books but Mark scored a cheap suitcase luggage.

We proceeded to Bras Basah Complex, it’s popular for 2nd hand books, from textbooks to fiction, accordig to Google.
Bras Basah Complex is a quaint place. It houses a lot of 2nd-hand bookshops, a few art supplies stores, novelty shops, etc.
Thankfully, I was able to get out of the place empty-handed!

I find the 2nd-hand books were too pricey for a 2nd-hand book for kids. The price usually starts at SGD10. It’s almost a brand new book in my opinion. I’m used to the P50 at Book Sale though not really the popular titles. 
#OOTD finds!

Thankfully, we got thru the day all just about find-ing, and not buying. @.@

—-
[SG Day 1] Itinerary: Live Like a Local



[SG Day 1] Itinerary: Live Like a Local

05/30/16

This time in coming to SG, I told Mark we should be like that airbnb ad, live like the local.

But before any thing else, let me have my chicken rice & kopi. This has became some sort of my ritual upon arriving in SG, the very first thing we do is to get down a train station w/ Anana’s (it’s like a fastfood for chicken rice, kopi, and some streetfood-ish kind of fingerfoods.). It’s a way of getting into the Singapore vibes: hearing the hard-to-get accent of the staff, adjusting the tastebuds (the 1st time I got here, their food made me realized how “american” our taste can be), & getting a “price” benchmark for your spending splurge.

Get another drink from that usual SG juice store, “tambay” at the bus station just to soak yourself more into the new place. #char
The sunset was kinda pretty when we rode down to the Macritchie area, where we we’re staying for few nights. I love that area because of trees. I don’t know what part oF SG is that place.

After unloading all our stuff, I now thought that officially we’d now act live like local SG. 

So first thing we did was find a grocery because we’re going to have our breakfast at “home” because we’re “local.” (On hindsight, I think “hawker” is probably how local actually do their breakfast.)
The first grocery store we chanced upon was Cold Storage.

And the first few things that greeted me were:
Bananas and mangoes from Philippines. @.@ Talking about being local.

The bananas and mangoes were kinda giving me some cognitive dissonance. Aside from the price, actually more than their prices, they kinda look sad. They’re kinda pale and anemic; not the usual so loudly yellow sunshiny back at home. I mean do locals here really pay that price for these sad looking bananas and mangoes?!? Because definitely back in Cebu, I’m not even going to pay attention to it. 
Deciding to be local for the bananas and mangoes was HARD like choosing a PH president hard. But char lang. I can actually just afford 1 tomato (the left bottom ones); no, not even that one.

I texted Mark’s cousin-in-law living here, who happens to be my grader schoolmate, and complained about the bananas. And she replied that it’s because I went to Cold Storage, which is like Rustan’s back at home. Ooooppsss, I cannot afford to be burgis local in SG. @.@
So we ended up buying fake fruits, the jams, just like how we are: fake locals. @.@