Sunday, July 19, 2015


I got distracted while packing my bag for camp. Here's some stuff that's been on my mind lately,

Trying to make sense of : 
- Feelings & my lack thereof ; 
- The idea of being vulnerable ; 
- Solitude 


Since I've been unemployed for pretty much the entire summer, I've been trying to make more out of my days : 

- Ukulele 
- Friends 
- Family 

To be honest, I'm struggling with spending time wisely & on people that deserve my time. This is something I (somewhat) promised myself when I turned 21 about a month ago - that time is one of the most valuable asset one can ever possess, and I should always have time for people whom I hold close to my heart and vice versa. Because ironically, these are the ones I take for granted the most & show appreciation the least. I'm thinking of my family, Qy & Jt as I am typing this. 

I still have about 1.5 months before leaving Singapore for a year. 

Spending the next 6 days in hall for hall camp (see what I mean by struggling to spend time wisely?)
Visa, immunisations & dental appt 
Part-time work 31st Jul - 12 Aug
Freelance writing (still discussing contract details, but I'm excited! ) 

Friday, June 12, 2015


Hello earthlings!

I'm documenting my tonsillectomy experience here since I know how much it helped to read and learn from others' experience. Hopefully this comes in handy for somebody that's frantically googling about 'Tonsillectomy'  :)  *If you're looking for my background story, click here

For illustration purpose, I'm going to describe my pain level with a scale of 0-10.

10 being absolutely unbearable, curled-up-in-a-ball kind of pain and there is nothing that I can do to feel better except to wait it out. Anything above 5 would be painful but still tolerable & anything above 7 would be painful and relatively intolerable but I can still make it feel better e.g. take deep breaths to distract myself or zone out for abit.

Surgery Day 27/05/15 

Pre surgery : I was on IV drip and general anaesthetic for the surgery. I have near zero pain tolerance so I requested for local anaesthetic before having my IV plug in. I was more afraid of the injection than the surgery itself since I knew I was gonna be completely knocked out during the surgery.

Once I was hooked up on the IV drip and the operation theatre was available, I was wheeled in. I remember taking deep breaths into the oxygen mask as instructed by my anaesthetist and slowly slipping into unconsciousness.

Post surgery : I woke up wanting to puke and my head was spinning. Since I had to fast for the surgery, it was mainly spit and blood. Initially I was afraid puking would hurt since my tonsil cavity's raw but it didn't. I was nauseous and puked 5-6 times that night.

Drinking iced water and apple juice in particular, was helpful. I couldn't get any food in though I was encouraged to eat soft food e.g. cooled porridge, oats and ice-cream. I was given Difflam (anti inflammatory) to gargle. Again, it didn't sting my wound as much as I thought it would. Medicine wise, I took 2 panadols and 1 antibiotic. The nurse was also attentive enough to help me crush my antibiotics into smaller bits so it was easier for me to swallow.

Recovery Day 1 - 5

Pain level 0-4

This period was relatively pain free aside for the inability to eat much because 1) throat area was in general discomfort 2) food tastes bland/gross cos of my wound.

I guess normal people might deal with this period better than I did because I was so upset that I couldn't eat! This was sheer torture for somebody that proclaims to love food more than people. Plus I get nauseous when I'm too hungry so there was a couple of mornings I had to force food in so I don't end up puking.

Overall there was nothing too uncomfortable even though it does start hurting after a couple of swallows so I usually stop eating altogether after a few bites. As a result each meal was only 3-4 bites and I was constantly hungry. During this period I was on antibiotics and painkillers (panadol) as well as Difflam mouthwash & lozenges.

Favourite food: Tauhuay, cold water, mashed potatoes & carrots.

On the 4th day I even managed to get out of the house to catch Tribes with Martin. Though I did take a stronger pain relief (Etoricoxib) in the morning just in case. When I was out of the house I had ramen and iced mochi. Both of which were a waste of money because I ate in bites and stopped after 3/4 mouthfuls. 

On the 5th day I actually stopped eating my pain relief altogether because I felt that the pain was manageable and I didn't want to take too much medication. My lips were kinda drying out and cracking at the corner which the mother pointed out to be a result of me eating meds (not too sure though). I had spaghetti this day and when my throat burnt, I stopped eating.

Recovery Day 6 - 12 

Pain level 4-10

The beginning of hell week.

I was still off pain meds on day 6 even though the pain (left side especially) was spiking. By evening, I was wincing in pain and twitching in anticipation of pain with every bite during dinner. To make matters worse, I had to sneeze!! OMFG it was so painful I teared. I got back on pain relief day 7 and I took panadol on & off throughout this period.

From here on, the pain was just progressively worse. It hurt when I'm drinking water, swallowing saliva, eating and even when I was not doing anything. Occasionally my throat felt like it was burning. I usually remedy this by sipping water and this worked when my burning throat was because of dryness.

The worse kind is when it feels like I'm swallowing broken glass and I simply can't do anything to make myself feel better. I usually clench my jaws and wait it out. There was also a night where it hurt so bad out of the blue, I curled into a ball on my bed and winced/teared in pain. During such times I'd try my best to think positive and remember that such moments will only last for 2-3minutes (even though in that moment it felt like fucking forever) and that I JUST HAVE TO WAIT IT OUT.

It was during this period that my mum got me Difflam anti-inflammatory spray. THIS SHIT WORKS LIKE GOLD. I sprayed it whenever I sensed that my throat was about to act up and the medication in it helped to numb the pain (as it is with the lozenges and mouthwash, but the spray is more effective).

Here I was eating even lesser because the pain was simply unbearable during meal times. I'd literally eat whatever mouthfuls just to stop myself from feeling too hungry or nauseous. It was so torturous too, I'd sit infront of the TV during lunch and 3hours would pass and I'd still be there, wincing and trying to eat. Every bite took so much courage cos I had to brace myself for the pain, fml.

Recovery Day 13 & 14 

Pain level 0-2

Got back on my meds and I established a routine of having my strong painkiller (Etoricoxib) & 2 panadols on both mornings. It was also in attempt to finish my last two Etoricoxib pills cos I was given 5 in total and like, might as well finish them right. Anyway, my routine worked like magic and I guess the fact that my throat was well on recovery attributed to the relatively pain-free last two days. I was out and about on day 14 and eating pretty 'normal' though my throat did feel a little dry or itchy but nothing a little water couldn't fix.

Day 16 11/06/15

I had my first review at the hospital today and I was told my throat's recovering well. The doctor also gave me the green light to eat normal. My appetite has decreased significantly since surgery but I'm not complaining #ProjectDiet It still stings a little when I'm eating so I'm trying to avoid fried/hot/spicy food for the time being. Also, think I lost a bit of weight having underwent this ordeal. 

Here's some tips I find useful, both from experience & reading forums/blogs : 

- Drink water, even when you're in pain. I swear it hurts less after the first few sips.

- Set an alarm at night to eat your pain med/take sips of water so you won't wake up with a burning throat.

- Iced water might sting your throat. Try cold or room temperature water instead. Avoid hot food/water!

- Difflam spray**

- Don't limit yourself to an ice-cream diet. Try soft food like porridge, oats and etc. Keep experimenting and expanding your food options. A good diet is important for recovery!

- Be positive!

Good luck & all the best if you're still in recovery / undergoing the op soon!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Note to self

For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.

— Eric Roth, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Monday, June 1, 2015

Tribes by Pangdemonium

plural noun: tribes
  1. 1.
    a social division in a traditional society consisting of families or communities linked by social, economic, religious, or blood ties, with a common culture and dialect, typically having a recognized leader.

SATURDAY - I caught a play Tribes with Martin at the Drama Centre Theatre. After a night of digestion and reading several commentaries online, I have to say that the play's a solid piece both in writing and delivery. 

Here's a rough synopsis: The family. Loud, argumentative, and crass. Billy, the protagonist, is deaf and brought up to be 'normal' by his family. Having returned home after university, Billy now struggles to fit in to the family. Language, or lack there of, is a problem. As it is with listening and hearing, and listening versus hearing. Billy meets Slyvia, a girl who's turning deaf, and he learns Sign Language. He believes this is the liberation he has been waiting for - a language that he can fully express himself with, and someone (Slyvia) that finally listens and understands him. Tension arose when Billy opens to the family and says that he is not talking to them until they learn Sign Language for him and that he is leaving them for Slyvia. 

My first impression of the play was it's a cliche. The topic mainly revolved around family and communication. I thought that if I were a teenager that's still undergoing my rebellious stage, I'd probably liked this play a lot more because of its argumentative nature and touchiness of the topics e.g. feelings of belonging and importance in a family (tribe). So I guess the inability to relate to this sector, which was a major part of the play, was a main factor I didn't quite enjoy the play initially. However, I did think I learnt a lot about the deaf community given that I've never given much thought about this part of the community. 

Anyway, after reading the playwright's intent for the script, I felt that this play was indeed a brilliant act. For me personally, I love figuring out the nuances of scripts and the action of plays. I love leaving the theatre in bewilderment or having that 'mindfucked' moment because this is the kind of thrill and satisfaction I seek from theatre. When watching Tribes, I thought the central message was clear and apparent, and I paid little attention to the details albeit observing them. After some reading online though, I'm starting to get a deeper picture and I absolutely love this part about understanding plays. (even if it's with a bit of cheating by reading online) 

First off, the title Tribes is apt. A family, filled with its own customs and ways is very much a tribe, just as it is with different groups in the community such as the deaf in the play. Hierarchy was also depicted. The leader of the family, the father, was always finding fault with everyone in the family and no one outside the family is 'ever good enough'. There's discrimination in the deaf community too, in terms of people born deaf or turned deaf. 

Language was a point of contention. The father disparaged Sign Language, whilst Billy felt that actions speak louder than words. Though it seemed very much like a typical family argument, there were also points to take home and I thought this was a line worth pondering upon - Do feelings mean any lesser if it can't be put into words? 

And while Billy envied Slyvia for her abilities to mingle with the deaf community because she was fluent in Sign, Slyvia began showing us the ugly parts of turning deaf. She was tired of faking smiles and optimism. This is relatable in life. The grass is always greener on the other side. We sometimes try hard to fit into a certain group or conform to society, only to realize we're losing our own identities and taking on a fake persona. 

Billy's elder brother, Daniel, was an interesting figure. In the first act Dan was loud, cursing and annoying. But as the play unravelled and as Billy sought independence and a voice of his own, Dan began wilting. He stammered and he hunched. Billy was his pillar of strength and without him, Dan was losing himself. 

I thought that Sign Language was a unique point about the play and because of this, there were more techniques used as compared to normal plays. Subtext is an example and I liked how the words projected conflicted with what the actors were saying at times - very much like us in reality. In essence, Tribes was a good watch and I'm beginning to really enjoy watching Pangdemonium's productions. This is the second play that I've caught and I'm dying to watch the last play of their season Chinglish except I can't because I'll be in China. 

Monday, May 25, 2015

n e w . b e g i n n i n g

Hello earthlings!

I've been meaning to get back to blogging since the beginning of Summer holidays because I needed an avenue to pen down my thoughts as well as to practice my writing. But I haven't quite convinced myself to get back to blogger because I didn't like the vibe of my blog. I felt that it's outdated in terms of both the site's layout and the posts I've written. My preferences and writing style have changed and evolved since the time I set up this site and it just doesn't feel right to continue writing here. In fact, I've a good mind to delete my old posts because like I said, they don't reflect me anymore.

I also contemplated setting up another tumblr in addition to the one I have for the purpose of daily musings or rants but that seemed like too much work. Instead, I revamped this place and it's much more pleasing to my eye now.

I do feel that there's somemore work to be done, say the blog title's rather hard to read and I should really change the size of my header photo BUT again, all those seem like too much work. I'll save it for another day, hopefully.

For now I'm happy with things as it is, albeit not starting on a clean slate as I'd wanted. Here's to new beginnings and better things ahead!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

It's week 12 of the academic term in a blink of an eye. I'm drowning in an abyss of work - school, hall, internship applications. But all is well, all is well.

Thought I'd take some time to pen down my thoughts before life gets too hectic (as though it isn't hectic enough now) and especially because I find myself just going through the motion these days. I reckon it's a good time to reflect and seek motivation or affirm my beliefs before I brave into the storm ahead.

Greatest news I've received in March was my acceptance into NUS Overseas College otherwise, NOC. Assuming all goes well with my job seeking, I'll be flying off to China for a year long's internship program. I'll talk more about this after securing my job and etc. since I believe everything's still quite uncertain now.

While I'm not going to talk about the program per say, I'm actually here to reflect about the things people have been telling me upon hearing my acceptance. The first thing people tell me after hearing that I'm going Beijing is 1) the air pollution 2) general stigma of their poor level of hygiene like how I'll be eating dog meat and cardboard and lastly, 3) WHY CHINA.

To be honest, I'm quite shocked that people genuinely question why China. I mean, I don't question people when they tell me random places that they're going for exchange, I don't pinpoint 'Oh hey, the place you're going is super racist and anti Chinese, good luck there!'. I smile politely, ask them how they're intending to map their modules, where they're travelling and etc. Isn't that social etiquette? So yes, I was quite taken aback when people rudely pointed out 'Why China'. Despite being able to joke about it face front, I'm slightly offended by these questions. Perhaps offended is too harsh, bewildered might be a better description.

To be fair, I am quite concerned about the level of pollution in Beijing. But what can I do right? As for the food, please, I've been to China. It's definitely not as horrible as what people say. I'm actually looking forward to trying out new food there - I quite fancy their duck blood in chilli oil. Afterall, working in a different country is all about new experiences and embracing their culture. Why bother if you can't step out of your comfort zone?

Lastly, the burning question people seem to have for me, 'Why China'. I've never thought about why China, and I mostly just patronize people with the fact that I'm an economics student and China's economy has always intrigued me (which is true). I can go on and on about how fascinating and remarkable China's economy and rate of development is, but you can easily google that on the Internet. That's beside the point. When people ask me why China, the first thought in my head is, I JUST WANT TO GO CHINA. I don't see how there's a need for a why, and I certainly don't have an explanation or a reason. Later on,  I realized the fact that I just want to go China is in itself, explanatory.

I don't think I'm being impulsive, I just want to experience life in China. Granted that my results can't take me on an exchange in a relatively 'better' country with beautiful sights like Europe or USA, but even if I could, I'd still want to experience China. It's just something on my bucket list, and I'm really really happy I got Beijing. I'm psyched for the challenges I'd face there, because challenges mean opportunities for self-growth. I'm genuinely excited for the things I'll be able to learn, in terms of both work and life.

Having lived in Singapore my whole life, plus under the reigns of my extremely overly-attached and loving father, I feel like I've been too sheltered my whole life. Time to expose myself to harsher elements of life.

So yes, here's my plain thoughts on going for NOC (aside for the work opportunities and entrepreneurial exposures).

Moving on, since my post on tonsillectomy, I've made the decision for an excision. I'm going for my first hospital consultation this Thursday and frankly, dreading it. I hate hospitals and procedures. But in life you have to do what you have to do. And if something is detrimental to you, then it's best to remove it. Talking about both my tonsils and uh, people in my life.

Okay, much reflection done here. Time to get back to work.

P.S. Was telling my hall friends that I feel like I'm living in 3 different yet overlapping realms - school, hall and internship processes. All 3 require so much energy from me and it's so hard to juggle. But again, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I'll be much freer after week 12 because hall commitments will come to a gradual pause after this week. I can do this #leggo

Sunday, March 15, 2015