Thursday, August 08, 2013

Welcoming the Long Weekend with Lots of Love

For the past week, the common topic on every Singaporean's tongue was how much they were looking forward to the 4-day long weekend. All I could think of was that I've only got 3 work day to finish some tasks at work and how it would be such a short hectic work week.

Well, I'm so glad those 3 days passed and by the second half of the day yesterday, I was already feeling like I've drunk happy juice. I've never in my life had a 4-day long weekend since I work on weekends for my previous two jobs and I was feeling really happy by the time I knocked off work.

Yesterday evening was spent with my Dad. He actually whipped up some simple dishes and asked me to go over after work when I asked if there was food at home. When I reached my family home, I realised that I was the only one eating as both my sisters didn't know that my dad was going to cook and hence had their dinner out. My mum also fixed some appointment and was out way before that.

So it was an evening with just my Daddy and me. After the very delicious home-cooked meal, we even poured ourselves some coffee liqueur over vanilla ice cream and enjoyed Western dessert. (You could see the pic on my Instagram here.)

At night, we picked Mum up who said she got something for me to eat. I was so full but when she whipped up a packet of heart-shaped bak kwa and said it was for me to share with the hubz, I was so amused yet touched by this little gesture. (You could see the pic on my Instagram here.)

My parents are so cute sometimes.

~

Today is a public holiday because of Hari Raya. Here's wishing all my Muslim friends "Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri"!



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Tomorrow is National Day. Happy Birthday Singapore!



After having free tickets rather easily for the past 3 years either for the National Day Parade preview or on the actual day, we have decided to give others a chance. Hahaha... Whom am I kidding? And I really mean it when I say I feel so proud to be a Singaporean whenever we sing National Day songs with our very beautiful night cityscape as a back drop.



~

Yesterday was also the start of the Hungry Ghost Festival. For my many non-Asian and non-Chinese blog friends, this festival sure sounds out of this world. You could read more about this festival here.



This festival is not observed by all Chinese in Singapore/Asia, but rather by Buddhists, Taoists and Chinese folk religion believers. Hence, I do not really practise all the customs on my part since I'm none of the above.

That said, I still show my respect for the deceased and choose to believe that it is indeed more crowded everywhere during this Lunar month (7th Aug 2013 - 4th Sep 2013) if you know what I mean. I've got some stories to tell which I might just share here one of these days. Well, they could be explained by Science and logic too but somehow, you tend to know.

I saw this checklist from Facebook and thought I might share it with all of you. Some of them may sound funny but you know, JUST IN CASE. [Source]

"DO NOT" Checklist for the Hungry Ghost Festival

1. Hang out late
2. Spit in the street or tree
3. Stare at the candlelight or burning fire
4. Step on Or kick offering items / joss sticks along the roadside
5. Cover up your forehead at night; always pin or put up your hair as high as possible
6. Stare at “them” if you really saw one; look or walk away calmly
7. Make funny jokes or comments on any display altar / offering items along the street
8. Look underneath the altar table when there is a prayer session
9. Shift your eyeballs from left to right or right to left repeatedly if you sensed something; always look straight and walk toward your destination calmly
10. Sniff and follow any pleasant or sweet smell ahead of you
11. Sit on the first few front Rows of any public Chinese Operas
12. Open your umbrella at night, especially red color type
13. Wear red color costume with high heels and walk alone at night
14. Pick up any unique items found on the street or road
15. Stand under a tree in the middle of the night
16. Wait at the bus stop especially after the bus service operating hours
17. Whistle alone at night; you may find someone singing along with you
18. Hang your clothes out in the middle of the night
19. Walk in the dark and near the walls; something maybe visible at your side view
20. Answer or respond when someone calls you, especially from behind
21. Turn your head when someone pat on your shoulders in the middle of the street
22. Use any dark or black color manicure
23. Comb your hair in front of the mirror in the middle of the night
24. Shout or scream in the middle of the night, stay as quiet as possible if you felt sudden coldness
25. Get emotional and cry in the middle of the night
26. Leave your bleeding wounds in a open air; always cover up the area with plasters or other bandage materials
27. Be a curious person or hero, if you hear some "strange" sound or noise, especially soft crying tone; always act blur
28. Swim in the pool or lake in the middle of the night; something maybe waiting to pull your legs
29. Play at the playground in the middle of the night; especially the swings
30. Take up the challenge to enter cemetery area or abandoned houses

~

In the meantime, I would try to catch up on editing photos for my blog posts, reply your comments and visit your blogs whenever I've access to my lappy.

To all my new stumblers and followers, THANK YOU!


[Disclaimer: All images are taken from Google and I do not know the original source. Please let me know if your images are here and if you would like me to credit you.]

32 comments:

  1. What a sweet and varied post. The family story is so sweet and that picture of Singapore is amazing. Actually giving some thought to maybe moving there so have been studying up on it. That picture should be on every tourist brochure :)

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    1. You are thinking of moving here? I have another blog friend who is exploring the possibility of moving to Singapore too. It would great to see all of you here. Have you thought of what you would be doing here? =)

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    2. The company I work for here is expanding there so maybe, within the next couple year, might move. Some early concerns based on research are I am a big baby when it comes to heat and I do not enjoy living in apartments. So those would both be big sacrifices.

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    3. So everything is still tentative? I personally feel that the heat here is pretty bearable due to the fact that almost everywhere is air-conditioned. All our public transports are air-conditioned too. I haven't seen those old buses w/o ac for a long time. In fact, I find the heat here more bearable than in 4-season-countries during summer coz they do not even turn on the ac during such sweltering summer. =)

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    4. I pretty much stay in air conditioning over a certain temperature outside. Not a fan of sweating I. But I do enjoy doing outside things too, like hiking in parks and swimming. I suppose the temps are perfect for swimming there, but hiking might be a bit much.

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    5. I'm not a fan of sweating too especially when I'm in working attire but when it's time to sweat it out like for exercising and hiking, I'm fine with it. There are places to hike here if you don't mind the perspiring. You would just have to hurry home to shower after that. Hehehe.

      Delete
  2. Jo, I'm so glad you had a great time with your family! This is my first time hearing of the Hungry Ghost Festival. I'm looking at the NOT TO DO LIST and I'm already out of compliance. HAHAHAHA I love learning about different culture, so I really appreciate you putting this post together. It's how we all learn.
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

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    1. I hope I haven't scared you. Hehehe... I love learning more about different cultures too and that's why I love reading blogs of overseas blogger friends like you. I realised that I've cut down a lot on reading local blogs.

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  3. Selamat Hari Raya~ =)

    Regards, www.lonelyreload.com (A Growing Teenager Diary)

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  4. Aww it's cute your dad cooked you dinner ^-^ But, this 'do not' list is pretty scary! Please visit my blog and join my giveaway! ^-^

    apieceofmi.blogspot.com

    - kat

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    Replies
    1. My dad is a pretty good and fast cook. I'm so thankful for that. I hope I haven't scared you with the list. I will drop by your blog soon! =)

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  5. omg i got scared about the "DO NOT" list... but the festival sure look's er... nice ^_^ but still i find it creepy because i'm such a wuss when it come's to ghost and i'm sooo paranoid.

    ~Michelle

    http://www.lapetitemichelle.blogspot.com/

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    Replies
    1. Oopsy... I'm so sorry for scaring you with the list. Hehehe...

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    2. No worries :D it's alright i'm just a scaredy-cat when it come's to ghost related stuff's hehee. Thank you for dropping by at my blog again btw and for that nice comment ❤

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  6. aww your relationship with your parents is so nice!! love that you have "adult" ice cream w/ your dad and that your mom got you that heart shaped jerky for you to share w/ your husband!! haha so cute :)

    omgosh the hungry ghost do not list gives me the heebie jeebies.. gave me chicken skin!!

    oh i don't work hahah.. and since we're in europe most of the time.. traveling around europe can easily be done during his 3 day weekends :)

    going to spain or italy for us in europe is just like going from taiwan to japan if you live in asia :) it's like an hour or so flight and it's about $100-$300 USD :) so really affordable and easy!

    can't wait to see your venice pics!! we didn't get to go to venice this time.. but hopefully i'll be able to go in the next year or so want to go their so badly!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was lovely to spend such times with my parents. =)

      Ah, thanx for explaining. No wonder you got to go to so many places. I always envy people living in Europe or in the States coz a road trip or a visit to another country is just a weekend affair.

      To me, Venice was ok. I very much prefer Florence and Rome.

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  7. DUDE. I am a total chicken when it comes to the supernatural. I can't even say the g word when I'm scared. All that changed when I began to study in Aus because Chinese superstitions and culture were out of sight and therefore out of mind. BUT, I had the misfortune of reading your list and scaring myself shitless. TAHAHAH.

    xx

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving me a comment.

      Oh dear, I'm sorry for scaring you with my list. I totally get what you mean about studying in Aus and not being afraid as there isn't Chinese superstition around. My sis used to study in Aus for a few years and she said the same thing. I had the opportunity to visit my sis and my then bf (now hubby) in Aus and I also felt the same thing. I could just stay home alone in a huge house w/o being fearful.

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    2. Don't feel bad. I bring it upon myself. I know that I'd be scared if I continued reading, but did so anyway. And sometimes, when I can't sleep, I go on spookycorner.com or reddit.com/r/nosleep and regret it. Every. Single. Time. Lol.

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    3. Hehehe... You are so daring to continue scaring yourself with those sites. I don't dare to type it out and get to the sites coz I tend to sleep late and I don't wanna scare myself.

      Delete
  8. This was wonderful. The festivals look super, I enjoyed learning about them. I hope you have a great long weekend doll xx

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    1. I enjoy learning about other cultures too. You too, have a lovely weekend!

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  9. So cute and sweet, just you and your daddy c:
    And yay for 4-days weekend! Use them well and
    have a great festival! Xx

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    1. Hehe, Yup. I used it a lot to sleep for now. Trying so hard to catch up on all my photo editing and blogging yet the free movie channels on cable aren't helping.

      Delete
  10. Father daughter time! Yay!!!
    That's very interesting about the Hungry Ghost Festival. I didn;t know Buddhists treated ghosts so well. I do talk to my mom once in a while. :)
    I hope the entire weekend is wonderful for you and the family.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yes it is very interesting. And because I'm so called a "non-practicer" that whatever knowledge I have about this festival is only the tip of the iceberg. It's so funny the way you said Buddhists treat ghosts well. Well, it's basically the belief that their ancestors and any deceased people they know are back on earth and hence the offerings.

      It's very interesting to know that you talk to your mom once in a while. Do share with us about your experiences.

      Delete
  11. Jo, that's really cute how you had dinner with your dad and your mom is so sweet. It's funny but I think with Asian parents, they'll always to feed their kids no matter how old they are. My mom still plies me with food every time I eat with her. I've heard about the Hungry Ghost Festival but i didn't know that there were so many things you weren't supposed to do. I would def. not be brave enough to go by a cemetery or abandoned house during the festival.

    Thanks for your advice on Italy. It def. is a country with many interesting cities to explore and I'm hoping to maybe plan a trip for next year :)
    Ha, as you can see I didn't go on a break. Photographing Rena & Ian can be a complicated and time consuming process so I need some time to come up with some new shots of them.

    I was surprised when i found out out easy the cucumber salad was to make. You can probably find the Taiwanese cucumbers in Singapore year round too. We only get them in the summer in NYC.
    The food was really good but the AC was ridiculous. I understand turning it up for summer but people other than us were shivering too. I never know if I should complain about that kind of thing or not.

    Happy birthday Singapore! Enjoy your long weekend Jo!

    Rowena @ rolala loves

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    1. Thank you for your sweet comment, Rowena.

      Asian parents show their love with their cooking and the food they pile on us. Even though I always eat till very full whenever I go home, my mum would still offer me lots of stuff.

      Rena and Ian would go on their break but I'm glad you hadn't with your blog. Hehehe...

      The weekend is almost ending and it's back to hectic work again.

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  12. Jo! Okay I'll try not writing a thesis this time haha

    Firstly Happy Belated Birthday to Singapore and omg hungry ghost festival! My parents both believe in the supernatural world and my mom is super interested in it. In fact we listen to a radio show that talk about encounters etc. (the host is edmond poon in case you're heard about him, he is based in hk but lots of his listeners are from nearby countries as well as overseas like us) I actually try to avoid that list year round haha I'm terribly afraid of the supernatural! I'm also scared of loud noises, in fact I am determined to invest my all into a the most quiet toilet in my future home!!! Are you a believer or interested in the supernatural world too?

    Oh I don't remember if I wrote this already but I'm Cantonese =D I can speak a bit of mandarin, actually let's just say if I ever got stuck in China I can probably make it to the airport but nothing beyond that haha Also I dunno how to read and write =( (only some random vocabulary)

    I've been thinking of replying my comments on my blog as well, it's more convenient for me but don't worry I will def be coming here to comment too!

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    1. Ooh... don't stop your thesis. Your comments are always one of those I enjoy reading a lot!

      I googled Edmond Poon and some of the images look scary. Many sites are in chinese and I'm lazy to read them. I'm a believer of the supernatural. I have a good friend who could sense and at a very haunted place which we've been together many years ago, she actually upgraded and saw. I personally had a few encounters but I explained them with logic or dismiss them as dreams. I better not continue scaring you. hehehe But I really believe in the existence of spirits.

      Yes, I asked you before and hence I remembered you are a Cantonese though I can't remember if you were in Canada all the way or you came from an Asian country. So where did you come from? Do you speak both Cantonese and Mandarin?

      When I changed my blog layout, I decided to change the comment setting too. It's really a lot easier to refer to when replying under each comment. Though I don't like that each post looks like there are many comments and also I get each of my own reply as an email notification too.

      I always look forward to your comments so continue coming back here! =D

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