• Posted On: December 14th 2022 at 7:00 pm | Add a Comment?
    Categories: Overseas, Personal life, Rants

    I have completed the first overseas trip since the COVID-19 pandemic. Oh boy, it was my most intensive trip so far. I don’t know what gave me the courage or even the wild idea of even trying to do it. I only started feeling the regret after the first domestic flight. :sigh: 

    Basically I got a chance to go for a business trip to Phoenix (US – Arizona) in around a month’s notice. It is a work trip for 1 week so I thought of extending it another week to travel to nearby cities. I was thinking about New York and San Francisco but the hotel prices for New York are quite high. So I switched to Los Angeles and San Francisco. As a result, for 20 days, I will have 7 flights (4 international flights and 3 domestic flights). 

    Stressful event 1: Bad flight schedules

    Due to my bad judgement and wrong trust placed on the travel agent, I ended up going for a 1hr 45min transit layover in SFO before flying to PHX. I had to delay 1 of my flight to PHX by 1 day just to make sure that I don’t miss the transit flight. Have to book a night’s hotel stay too. All these are done in around 50 hrs before my first flight. Can you imagine how stressful it was? I thought that is the last stressful event but it turned out to be the start of the series of stressful events. 

    Stressful event 2: Murphy’s law in action

    The second stressful event is about my work laptop. In less than 24 hrs before my flight, my work laptop decided to die on me. I needed to bring it over for the work trip so that means I need to immediately get a replacement laptop. Fortunately my company’s IT department is awesome and they did wonders by providing me with a loaner laptop before I fly. 

    Stressful event 3: Aftermath of the first stressful event

    The third stressful event is figuring out what and where I can go for food on my first day in SFO. I landed on Thanksgiving which means most shops are closed. Fortunately the hotel my travel agent recommended me has room service so I just stayed in the hotel the whole day to ensure that I get food and water. I didn’t manage to go to SF city area to explore since most places are closed. On hindsight, I wish I did explore places like Golden Gate Bridge on that day because I ended up having no time to go there.

    Stressful event 4: Extensive security checks which I didn’t expect

    The fourth stressful event is going through the extensive security checks for my first domestic flight. They have different lanes like Clear and Pre-TSA. People are rushing and there are dogs sniffing everyone who has to go through the checks. I feel that the checks are much more extensive than the ones I experienced on international flights. I was prepared for this by going more than 3hrs before my flight and was following what others and the customs officers were telling us to do.

    Stressful event 5: Psychological battles

    The fifth stressful event is more psychological. It’s basically my first domestic flight experience in US. Oh gosh, the planes are tiny and it was a full flight. The airline were very strict on the number of hand carry and personal item. It is strictly 1 personal item and 1 hand carry. They will force you to checkin your hand carry if you have more than 1 personal item. I didn’t expect it and was lucky that I have enough space to squeeze my sling bag into my backpack. Then during the flight, the plane was shaking non-stop which makes me really nervous as I have a fear of heights. I’m ok with flying since most flights are quite stable throughout the entire journey. I’m so glad that I got to select the aisle seat the night before my flight. I was originally assigned the middle seat by the system but had a few choices of aisle seat to select for free. I made sure I focused on the Netflix drama I was watching throughout the entire flight and didn’t eat or drink anything. I came out of the flight having weak legs. :stressed: I am still proud of myself for not panicking.

    Stressful event 6: Damaged baggage

    After my first domestic flight experience with United, I was quite worried about my next 2 domestic flights with American Airlines and Alaska Airlines respectively. Luckily I made sure I selected the aisle seat for then even if I had to pay extra for it. The one with American Airlines was a good flight experience since I was in First class. I booked First class because it was cheaper to go for First class with 2 free checkin baggage than Economy class and pay for the 2 checkin baggage. I got really lucky in this case. Unfortunately, it has more than 1 hr flight delay which means I don’t have time to go for Warner Bros tour when I land in LA.

    I wasn’t that lucky for my third domestic flight though. 1 of my checkin luggage was damaged by Alaska Airlines. I later found out that 1 particular item was opened in the luggage, which probably led to the damage of the luggage. My Hermes 55cm silk scarf was opened but left alone (luckily!). After that experience, I didn’t put anything luxury or Hermes in my checkin luggage even if it is not that expensive. Since my luggage lock got damaged, I have to rush to get a TSA lock for it when I travel back. Luckily I was staying with Gulabi at that time and she helped me order it from Amazon and it was delivered in 2 days – just in time for my trip back home. This was my sixth stressful event for the trip.

    Stressful event 7: Confusion over the checkin queue

    My seventh stressful event was when I queued at the wrong checkin counter for my flights back home. My international flight tickets were all under ANA so I just went to ANA counter directly. It turned out that the first flight (SFO to NRT) is operated by United so I needed to queue at United counter instead. That’s something I didn’t expect because pre-pandemic, I always just go to the checkin counter of the airline company where I got the tickets. Apparently, the flight I am on have 5 different airline codeshare in the same flight. I guess airline companies are doing really bad for them to do that and still do not have a full plane.

    Luckily the United counter was just the next counter and the queue is not super long. Security checks took longer than usual as some of my items have to be rechecked too. I ended up reaching the boarding gate at the boarding time. That was a close shave given that I arrived at the airport 2 hrs before my flight. Phew!

    That concluded my 7 stressful events for my journey. 7 different flights, 4 different accommodation in 20 days. I also fell sick during multiple times in the entire trip too. Stuff like giddiness, severe lack of sleep (2.5hrs of sleep and clocked 26k steps in the same day!), diahorrea and eczema.

    I certainly need a rest from this vacation. I won’t be doing this again for sure. 2 checkin luggage, 1 handcarry luggage and 1 backpack are just too much to handle when I have to travel around so much. I’m too old for it. Bleh. I highly doubt I will ever do so many flights again. Visiting 7 cities (Scottsdale, Gilbert, Chandler, Tempe, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, San Francisco) in 2 different states and in 18 days (excluding the time needed to fly back to Singapore) is simply too hectic for me to handle.

    I will blog more about the trip when I get time. For now, see you guys again!

    Posted On: June 6th 2022 at 10:40 pm | 1 Comment
    Categories: New stuff, Personal life, Rants, Technology

    I got a dehumidifier for my bedroom recently after I discovered mould spots on one of my Hermes bags. I have always use dehumidifier packs from Daiso/Nitori or thirsty hippo equivalent from Guardian/Watsons over the years and apparently those are not enough. I even went to Shopee/Lazada to get a small desk electric dehumidifier and even that is insufficient. It’s only when I discovered mould spots on my Hermes Evelyne 29 bag and I have to send it for spa for mould removal that gave me the final push to buy a huge electric dehumidifier for my bedroom. Thank goodness Hermes do spa the inside of the bags if it is an anti-mould treatment locally in Singapore!

    I have been contemplating to get a huge electric dehumidifier for many years but never actually get it. I guess it’s a blessing in disguise that the mould appeared on my Evelyne 29 bag instead of my Constance 18 bag, especially when they are both stored next to each other in the same wardrobe compartment that had mould issue. I didn’t see mould when I was cleaning that compartment a few months ago. 🙁

    I got the EuropAce 6251S after many research. It has a capacity of 25L and is designed for bigger spaces like living room and has a laundry mode. I got it for my small bedroom because I also want to use it for laundry during rainy weathers. Singapore weather have been crazy recently and humidity levels are at 75% to 90%.

    So far the dehumidifier seems to be working well after I use my hygrometer to measure it. It’s down to 40% to 55% as long as I close the door. It can go below 60% even if I open the door. I’m glad that it is working well since it’s cost me S$619 which isn’t exactly cheap.

    May the mould issue resolved before my bags are back from their spa.

    Posted On: May 16th 2022 at 1:07 pm | Add a Comment?
    Categories: Music, Personal life, Rants

    I haven’t been blogging as much as I thought I will be. Kind of like wasting money to maintain the domain and hosting though but I am not ready to give all these up.

    I saw someone I knew from a dating app many years ago. It was awkward because my ex-colleague was trying to introduce him to me (vice versa). My current colleague was with me too. It was a work conference and I registered for the free pass. It was really awkward and that guy basically left hurriedly which my colleague felt it was weird. Then I told her that I knew that guy from a dating app super long ago. Obviously we didn’t kept in contact but he seems to remember my name. Probably not how I look like since he walked towards me when my ex-colleague waved at him to come over. I guess it’s super awkward to meet someone you met in dating apps long time ago.

    Moral of the story: don’t meet someone who is in the same wider industry as you on dating apps because you will never know if both of you will cross paths again. :stressed:

    My YouTube music playlist have some old songs that were released in 2015. 2015 seems so long ago since now it’s 2022. I have definitely gained weight, gained stress and gained more savings as compared to 7 years ago. I wish I didn’t gain weight though. 🙁 I have become older and changed multiple jobs.

    Back in 2015, I was still in my first job. Now I am on my fourth job. What a difference 7 years has made.

    Do I still like the songs I like back in 2015? Yes. Will I listen to them again? Probably not as much.

    Posted On: December 31st 2021 at 6:00 pm | Add a Comment?
    Categories: Personal life, Rants

    The year is ending and I feel like I have not done much this year.

    Didn’t manage to pass my GCP Cloud Security exam hence have to retake again 2 weeks later. I have been working hard for it for months and didn’t understand why I will fail it since I can answer most of the questions. Oh well.

    I hope I can do more in the new year and gosh, I need to stop slacking. :stressed:

    Posted On: October 7th 2021 at 12:29 am | Add a Comment?
    Categories: Korean related, Personal life, Rants, Work

    Today’s my last day of my 3-day off days. I took 3 day leave from work as I was feeling burnout but now I feel like a kid, dreading when the “school” reopens. Haha. Back to work tomorrow and hope things go well.

    It’s important to take breaks sometimes to prevent burnout after all.

    I cleared 1.5 courses for my GCP Security certificate preparation. Still got 3.5 courses more to go. 🙁

    I also finished the “What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim?” korean drama too and had a haircut at Walking on Sunshine. Don’t think I will be going back to Walking on Sunshine for haircut next time. I miss my usual hairstylist, Mikhaela. She went back to Korea and relocated to Australia in 2019 after her marriage. Oh well. She’s the only hairstylist who knows exactly what I want for my hairstyle. I haven’t found a hairstylist as good as her so far. Elin from Zinc Korean Hair Salon is the closest to her standards. I think I will just stick to Elin next time. Although it’s a bit expensive to keep going to Zinc Korean Hair Salon… :sigh: Oh well…

    Nevertheless, I’m loving my new haircut even though it is not the usual style that I prefer. Well, there were some miscommunication with the hairstylist and I. Oh well.

    I also went to try Eggslut with my boyfriend and the egg burger he ordered is better than my bacon burger.

    I’m looking forward to my next break in December. Time to start counting down!