Text

#76: Celebrate World Kindness Day

It’s really been a long time since my last post. Travel, work, house moving have succeeded in getting all my time in the last few months but hey, I don’t regret any minute of it though :)

Anyway, it’s also been a while since I last did some voluntary work so when I saw a post from SG Cares on Facebook last week about Volunteers Recruitment for World Kindness Day, I signed up right away. After about 20 mins filling up the online form and going through the online orientation, I was qualified for volunteering for SG Cares.

In case you don’t know what the World Kindness Day is, here is a short paragraph explaining about this Day from the briefing document I got.

In 1997, seven countries, including Singapore, came together to sign a declaration for the World Kindness Movement. Its mission is to inspire individuals towards greater kindness. A year later, on 13 November, World Kindness Day was established. To date, we have 23 members around the world!

Our job was to give away daisies and the pin to the people we met on Orchard Rd and explain to them that the yellow daisies symbolizes appreciation and ask them to give it to their friends, loved ones or even strangers as a way of appreciation for their acts of kindness. We were supposed to finish our task by 5pm but we, a team of 3, were so efficient that we finished everything before 3pm :) Teamwork did work really!

Linda, an Indonesian friend I got to know, and I at this event were in charge of approaching and giving away the daisies and pins while Joel, a Singaporean JC student, was responsible for carrying the huge flower tray. I learned a lot at this event but the biggest lesson was from Joel for his volunteer spirit. He told me that he volunteered not to get the points for his study (at Junior College, you are not required to volunteer to get the Community Service points) but because he wanted to help others. And during the whole afternoon, he was just quietly carrying the very heavy flower tray so that we could distribute the daisies even though we asked him to switch role. What a true volunteer he was!

It’s a great idea to have a World Kindness Day to remind us all to be kind to each other. I am wondering why only 23 countries so far have embraced this movement. Anyway, it’s not really that important, we can always be kind on a personal level right? Be the change you wish to see in the world, remember? Be kind everyday my dear friends!

Photo
# 75: 3 times a charm
Have you ever been to a restaurant again and again even when you had bad experiences with them before? Well, I have and I was happy that I did that because really the 3rd time coming back to Da Mario Pizzeria Ristorante was quite awesome!
I deliberately ordered the seafood soup (the same dish that I ordered last time but somehow the order got forgotten) to see if I would get the same experience…yes, I was very persistent I know :) And surprisingly, this time I got my order just on time and the soup was so good that I forgot all the bad experiences I had at this restaurant before. It was quite fascinating to see how food could ignite the forgiveness! What a power :)
I never really believe in the old saying “3 times a charm” but this time, it really worked :-) I guess sometimes, you just need to give others not just a second chance but maybe also a third one? (NB: Use this with caution :)
In case you want to know where the Da Mario Pizzeria Ristorante is: 
Da Mario Pizzeria Ristorante60 Robertson quay#01-05/06The Quayside, Singapore 238252SingaporePhone: 623 57 623
(NB: They don’t have aircon so sometimes it could be quite warm to dine there if you are a big fan of aircon but they do have a big fan :)

# 75: 3 times a charm

Have you ever been to a restaurant again and again even when you had bad experiences with them before? Well, I have and I was happy that I did that because really the 3rd time coming back to Da Mario Pizzeria Ristorante was quite awesome!

I deliberately ordered the seafood soup (the same dish that I ordered last time but somehow the order got forgotten) to see if I would get the same experience…yes, I was very persistent I know :) And surprisingly, this time I got my order just on time and the soup was so good that I forgot all the bad experiences I had at this restaurant before. It was quite fascinating to see how food could ignite the forgiveness! What a power :)

I never really believe in the old saying “3 times a charm” but this time, it really worked :-) I guess sometimes, you just need to give others not just a second chance but maybe also a third one? (NB: Use this with caution :)

In case you want to know where the Da Mario Pizzeria Ristorante is:

Da Mario Pizzeria Ristorante
60 Robertson quay
#01-05/06
The Quayside, Singapore 238252
Singapore

Phone: 623 57 623

(NB: They don’t have aircon so sometimes it could be quite warm to dine there if you are a big fan of aircon but they do have a big fan :)

Text

sur-realities said: i'm so glad you like it here in our country! hope you'll have a good stay here :)

@livelifelovingfriends thanks so much for your sweet message! Yes, I love living here! Singapore rocks :)

Text

#74: Home is not the only place to watch live football match

esp. when you don’t have cable TV (or not subscribing for sports channels) and that’s what I did last Sat night (well, early Sun morning to be exact :).

After attending one event, my friend asked if I was interested in watching a football match at Meritus Mandarin hotel at 2.30am. I wasn’t so sure about this invite at first as 1/ I wasn’t a very big fan of football (I do watch it if it’s some big match like World Cup or whenever Vietnam team plays) 2/ 2.30am is quite a challenge to stay awake for me :) but when I found out that it was the final match of Champion League between MU & Barca, I said yes without having to think twice! I had nothing against MU but with Barca, since I had a chance to be in their stadium and watch their match, I told myself I would root for them this time!

And Barca really didn’t fail to impress me at all… they played incredibly awesome! The way they passed the ball to each other and how they scored… wow, it was just gold! (I should stop bragging about this as I still want to be friend with MU fans :)

Let’s talk a bit about watching football in a hotel bar. It was quite an experience actually! Big screen with drinks and surrounding with all the football fans (regardless which team they root for), what an atmosphere! I loved it! The only thing was that the minimum charge was 20SGD  but I think it was worth it!

I got back home at 5am… totally exhausted (like I just played the match :) but extremely happee as it was a record for me to stay up that late… there is always the first time I guess! Can’t wait to watch other matches (hopefully in other venues so that I have more things to share with you guys :) Till then… have an awesome week ahead!

Photo
# 73: 1 concert, 2 divas
I was extremely happee to get an invite to Janet Jackson’s Number Ones concert at Indoor Stadium because 1/ I had never been to any Janet’s concert & 2/ I hadn’t been to Indoor Stadium before even I didn’t really know any song from her. But hey, it was even better since you didn’t have any expectation whatsoever :)
The concert was sensational and we stood up and danced most of the time (except when Janet sang some ballads of course!). The choreography was also fascinating and extremely energetic! I just loved every minute of it even the graphic display at the backdrop was quite random and not thoroughly thought through and Janet’s interaction with audiences wasn’t really “up close & personal” as per the name of the concert! Anyway, it was still a very good concert to me :) 
The best part was that not only I met 1 diva (Janet Jackson) in 1 concert but I also had a chance to meet another diva whose name is Siti Nurhaliza in this concert. Apparently she is a very famous singer in Malaysia and my friends all know about her except me. They had to really point and show me where she was :)
This really makes me realize that being famous or being a celebrity is quite relative as you can be extremely famous in one country and millions of people adore you there but you can also be just an ordinary person in another country where no one really knows about you. So always being humble is the way to go I guess :)

# 73: 1 concert, 2 divas

I was extremely happee to get an invite to Janet Jackson’s Number Ones concert at Indoor Stadium because 1/ I had never been to any Janet’s concert & 2/ I hadn’t been to Indoor Stadium before even I didn’t really know any song from her. But hey, it was even better since you didn’t have any expectation whatsoever :)

The concert was sensational and we stood up and danced most of the time (except when Janet sang some ballads of course!). The choreography was also fascinating and extremely energetic! I just loved every minute of it even the graphic display at the backdrop was quite random and not thoroughly thought through and Janet’s interaction with audiences wasn’t really “up close & personal” as per the name of the concert! Anyway, it was still a very good concert to me :) 

The best part was that not only I met 1 diva (Janet Jackson) in 1 concert but I also had a chance to meet another diva whose name is Siti Nurhaliza in this concert. Apparently she is a very famous singer in Malaysia and my friends all know about her except me. They had to really point and show me where she was :)

This really makes me realize that being famous or being a celebrity is quite relative as you can be extremely famous in one country and millions of people adore you there but you can also be just an ordinary person in another country where no one really knows about you. So always being humble is the way to go I guess :)

Text

Anonymous said: U are the coolest guy in here :-)) I do believe:-))

Haha… it’s flattering but I wouldn’t think so! Thanks :)

Text

Anonymous said: Hi, what's your nationality? :)

Hey, I am from Vietnam but have been living in Singapore for more than 2 years now :) What about you?

Text

#72: “Semi-hiking” @ MacRitchie Reservoir

It’s been a while (1,5 month) that I have had a chance to update my blog. Tet (Vietnamese New Year), travel, work have just been enjoying these 6 weeks too much…

Anyway, I decide to revive my little project called “1001thingstodoinSingapore” (translation: I will try to do at least one new thing in Singapore every week, be it visiting a new place, eating/cooking a new dish, seeing a new place or simply just meeting some new friend :) with the hope that this blog will be updated more frequently as I just only need to have another 930 more posts (this post included) to complete 1001thingstodoinSingapore!

When my friend asked me to join them for hiking at MacRitchie Reservoir (only now I can pronounce this name correctly, travel does help make you smarter! :), I said yes right away as I had never been to this reservoir, esp. to the treetop walk and also because I wanted to get myself back (slowly) to the exercise routine.

Well, the bad news was that the treetop walk was closed for maintenance until Apr but the good news was that since I had never been to this place before, I had no expectation whatsoever and hence it was the best thing ever, just go with the flow and let myself be surprised and wowed from one thing to the other.

The walk was quite easy and pleasant thanks to the lovely weather (the sun decided to sleep in on Sunday morning!). The scenery was just so magnificent and tranquil. 

There were 2 incidents that are worth mentioning here. Firstly, it was the conversation among our “United Nation” friends (because non of us are from Singapore) when we saw a turtle in the lake (do you call it a lake or a river in the reservoir?). Here is how it went:

A (Thai friend): Look! There is a turtle over there!

B (Japanese friend): Ohhh, kame (turtle in Japanese)

C (Vietnamese - Me): I see, so you call it “kame” in Japanese!

D (Filipino friend): We call it “food” in Philippines!

Really, I laughed for the good few minutes after hearing the very witty yet real answer from my Filipino friend (Vietnamese sometimes call it “food” too actually!)

Secondly, there was a sign saying “Don’t feed the monkey” when we were about to enter the reservoir. I thought well, it was just another sign telling you not to do something in Singapore but guess what, few kms later, we saw a man carrying a yellow plastic bag walking in the opposite direction and right away, there was a monkey trying to snatch the bag from him as he thought it was the banana. The man tried to fight back but this monkey never gave up and also believed very much in team work, he asked his friends (about 8 of them) to join him so the poor man had to let go his bag with the bread inside! Wow, what a scene! Thing I learned today: Follow the sign (as there is a reason they put it up the first place!)

We only walked for about 2 hours but it was really a great walk and for sure I will come back hopefully few more times before the treetop walk opens again in April. This time, I might leave my phone at home as I realize I spent too much time “instagraming” so many pictures… but hey, maybe not…Instagram does make me pay more attention to details and enjoy fully what nature offer us… well, I will let you know next time :-)

Meanwhile, have an awesome week ahead everyone and see you in my next post (hopefully soon!)

Text

# 71: New Year on the rooftop

It was my second year in Singapore but it was the very first time I celebrated new year here so I was not so sure what to expect except that I knew that there would be fireworks and it’s impossible to get a cab until the next morning.

I was lucky to be surround with all good friends and we all gathered on the rooftop for the countdown. We knew for sure that we wouldn’t be able to see the fireworks since we were only on the 4-storey-building and in front of us there was a humongous hotel (at least 30-storey high) blocking our view for the fireworks. It didn’t prevent us from going to the rooftop for the countdown and see some reflections of the fireworks on the hotel though.

Guess what, things are always way better when you least expect! It turned out that we still could see some fireworks (real one, not the reflections) from a specific angle…. It was really awesome! Neither did we have to travel all the way to Orchard Road or Marina Bay for the countdown with millions of people nor did we need to wait until the next morning for the cab home….

We got just everything we need from our rooftop… awesome drinks (including water :), delicious food (including yummy tasty Swiss hand-made and organic chocolate & scrumptious 1st-time-baked chocolate cake), amazing view, great weather, wonderful companion (Wrinkles) and the most important thing was that we were there with our most special friend(s)….it’s the most important element I believe! 

2 days before New Year I got a chance to catch up with a very good friend and he told me something that became “Thing I learned today” for me. It was “Whom you are with matters, where you are doesn’t”. I couldn’t agree with this more….

You realize that there is no picture for this post (sorry for making you disappointed in case you expect some amazing fireworks photos here) as sometimes, the best photo is the one you keep in your mind, not the one taken even by the most hi-tech, expensive camera… 

Happee New Year everyone…

Text

# 70: Authentic Vietnamese Cuisine in Chinatown

I managed to survive in Thailand for 2 years without trying any Vietnamese food as I had a stubborn belief that only Vietnam serves the best and the most authentic Vietnamese food… Thankfully, that belief has been changed when I moved to Singapore 2 years ago… it was all because of  Yummy Viet restaurant on Smith Street!

They really serve authentic Vietnamese food here, not to mention that the chef and all the waitresses are from Vietnam too. You can’t get more Vietnamese than this!

My favorite dishes are spicy beef noodles (you can ask for non-spicy one if you can’t take spicy food like me!), spring rolls & egg cake + pork chop rice! The pork BBQ noodle is also very good! I often come here, esp. when I am sick, just for some comfort food… they really made me feel much better and miss home less I guess!

I have taken lots of friends there and they all loved this restaurant! I believe you will too… give it a try… Vietnamese food rocks :)

Yummy Viet restaurant

28 Smith Street, Chinatown

I

Spicy Beef Noodles

Spring Rolls