Category Archives: Travel

Atta Girls!

Didnt quite get to offload this from my emotional tank since I came back, finally have the time now.

I got bullied at the tax-refund office. Stood up for myself (experienced a range of emotions along the way). More and more women are standing up for themselves. Atta girls!

(without the finger of course)

So, we needed to get a stamp from the tax-refund office at the airport before we depart from the country. This stamp indicates that goods have been brought out of country and is validated to be exported (i.e. not bought at a tax-free price to be sold inland). Otherwise, we would need to pay a penalty on top of the tax-refund fee. Being a law-abiding citizen of Singapore we make sure to get all the paper works and join the appropriate queues to get that precious stamp.

I was 10 over person behind in the queue when we noticed an angmo being rejected by the customs i.e refusing to give him the stamp (tax-refund officers would direct customers with too-big a figure of receipt to the customs for verification), the angmo stood around, probably thinking what to do or how to deal with the situation. I didnt bother about him, he’s not my problem.

Soon enough, it was almost my turn. I noticed the officer’s interaction with the previous traveller. She was flustered, coughing, lifting up her bottle (as though showing she needs to go get water), trying to indicate, tell the traveller that goods inspection was after immigration. The traveller misunderstood, asking, pointing if he needs to go join the above-stated customs line. After much through and fro, she gave up and walked away to top up her bottle (I supposed) he walked to the customs line.
I was thinking, poor thing, she seems unwell and the line of travellers getting refund seems never ending (need not mention about some travellers who might have given her a hard time previously).

I stood at the line, waiting for the next available counter. She came back, made eye-contact and signal me to go over.

I had 2 slips, 1 for cash refund, already received at the mall, the other for credit card, to be credited sometime down the road when I arrived back at Singapore. The tour manager warns us to take a picture of the stamp should the tax refund office keeps the receipt so that should there be further questioning, we have a proof of validation.

I stepped up, presented my receipts, mentioned that one has already been refunded and the other, I would like to get in cash if possible. She said “okay, I know”, proceeded to do the returns in USD, I asked if I could get Euro instead, she said ran out, so I asked my husband to get refund in USD or in credit card. we chose credit card. She carried on her task. My husband walked away. 🙂

I explained that that was my first time, I wasnt sure what was happening, she winked at me and smile said its okay. Sure. 🙂 I stood there and left her to do her job.

I saw her process my 1st cash-refunded receipt. After stamping, she clipped it in a stack. She carried on to the credit card one. She gave me back a new receipt. I panic as the receipt does not have a stamp. I stop and slip the receipt back, “But the receipt does not have a stamp,” I said.

Thats when she lost it. “Trust me, lady, its there, your details, your credit card number,” she even took a highlighter and highlighted my credit card details.

I said “okay, okay” I walked away since she seems to know what I was talking about. and she said “trust me” ma… so I leave her alone.

As I turned, I checked again, okay that figure is for credit card refund. hmm.. but what about the figure from the other cash refund receipt? I turn back again, waited behind the next-customer whom she is attending to.

When the next-customer left, I present her the receipt and said “what about the cash-refund receipt?” I then pointed to that above-mentioned stack. “I need to take a picture, just a picture.” 🙁

She then took that new-issued credit card refund receipt and proceed to highlight the amount, “here is the amount, no need stamp, this is okay, trust me,” she tried to explain, looking like she is almost breaking down… 🙁 I seriously feel so heartbroken for her.

“no, no, no, this one, this one,” I pointed to the stack where she clipped my cash-refunded receipt again and said “just a picture” as I held up my phone and act as though I was taking a picture. To my horror, she stood up, took the stack and put it on her rolling chair and push everything backwards, further into the office.

“no, no, no, just a picture,” again, I said, gesturing with my phone.

“its okay, its okay,” I heard that as someone shoved me from my left. (I obviously stood my ground and not move).

WAH. you have no idea the anger in me at that point of time. (yup, woman’s emotions are like that.. one moment my heart is all out for the tax-refund officer, cos it was a very simple miscomm, just put the stamp-receipt at the counter, I will take a picture and I will leave you alone; the next, Anger was coursing through my blood.)

I stopped what I was saying put down my phone and the stuff on my hands, turned and looked at him. Tall, probably in the late 40s, ang mo, my head was probably at his shoulder level, big built.

In a calm and definitely not soft voice (without hand gesture), “GO AWAY”.

The person got it, and he said “okay okay”. Stood there quietly.

and I got back on with my case.

Again I said “picture of the stamp” (gesturing with the phone), “cash-refund receipt”. Then I think she got it. She took the stack, took out mine and left it at the counter.

I positioned it, took a photo and then returned it. “I’m so sorry, thank you. Its my first time.” smiled at her. She winked at me again. I turned and noticed my husband, he asked what happened. I refused to respond and walked to a corner with him.

I scolded him, “why were you not there with me to deal with that guy,” “why do I have to raise my voice at him instead of you doing it?” again, I asked. I explained the situation in short and asked for a hug. “He tried to push me away while I was trying to ask for the cash-refund receipt to take a picture of the stamp,” the husband understood and nodded. “I noticed that guy, he had trouble with the customs and has been going counter to counter. The customs officer just ignored him and went away.” he explained. “I was just trying to deal with my problem,” I half spoke in an inaudible voice, while going in for a hug. Tears welled up in my eyes…
(pity-anger-sadness, yup, all within 10 minutes)

Although I got the intruder to not dismiss me, I felt so bullied seriously, so disrupted, so disrespect. How dare he!

That angmo…. bloody piece of crap.
There’s a saying in chinese, 老虎不发挥就把我当病猫 loosely translated as “dont treat a tiger as a sick cat just because the tiger didnt exert itself”.

Girls are standing up for themselves more and more. Atta girl!

Thanks for coming by and spending time.

Be Blessed


Fishing for fees

Felt as though im being scammed………. (of international incoming call charges if any).

I was on the train checking my email. then saw an advert on immigration to australia.

I keyed in some contact info.

I got home and started on my meal and a phone call from australia came in. I picked it up, I asked when was the submission, cos I did enquire on such stuff some time ago.

Answered some qns and the CSO asked If Im working, I said no Im not. then he voiced louder saying how can I pay for the fees if im not working. Im like …. what…. im not working now doesnt mean I dont have cash to pay.

He asked if im single, (thats for him to pitch for Single or married w family for immigration arrangement thing).

He was a little abrasive as I wasnt clear if I was married. (If theres a proposal already, does that mean Im married?) Then asked when i last work, how much was my last pay and then oh turns out im eligible to apply. (At that point, I was very upset. Im not working now means I cannot pay? wah, u look me no up siA)

Then went on to advise me on the fee, then said the fee is for registration, lawyer consultation some governmental fee, that they provide the service of finding a job for me too. (Finding a job for me…. I was like… red alert, so many indians and bangadesh and foreign workers kanna scammed into paying to find a job in SG, that was all crap, pay up even before finding me a job. Who knows what kind of company and jobscope, and to pay before that). I said according to my understanding, I cant find a teaching job if I dont have a degree. He said, thats work permit, we are talking about immigration.

and Im like, do you have an email or a website that I can read up on, then he didnt want to give me the address, he said one of the things that email cant do is to answer a question, that government bodies dont work like that, dont work with email. If I have any qns I can ask him now.

Im like, okay, hes not giving me a website, hes not giving me an email. he is asking 750USD in advance, he says I could get a job even without a degree. – These are all red flags.


I said, oh I think I will not be able to proceed until my bf finds a job in Australia and I know the location.

I see, thank you for your interest then, bye. And he immediately puts the phone down on me. ???????

Erm… you say its application for immigration, my hesitation was because of a job thing, and you are so ready to end the conversation????????

I went to check the website I click through.

Australia Immigration Professionals Immigration Online Application Services is a private entity and is not a governmental
agency and is owned and operated by The Australia Immigration Professionals web-site is owned and
operated by Australia Immigration Services Limited © Copyright 2018 All rights reserved.

seems its more like a commercial company fishing to earn such fees.


Thanks for coming by.

Be Blessed

Whatever that doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

It’s been a season of head-over-heels, back-breaking, sleep-deprived, responsibilities-overload, Ridiculous-complaints, but patience-growing, body-understanding, spine-alignment, better-health and death-defying season.

😀 damn drama, this Amanda.
Seriously, these words cannot even begin to describe what I have gone through these 2 months.

Started with the chiropractic treatment, turns out I have non-textbook categorized scoliosis (basically it’s not so bad that it cld categorize as that, but neither is it so mild that it’s negligible), I have 2 2nd phase degeneration (takes over 10yrs to develop) (a bit too young for that) misalignment in the spinal area between my shoulder blades and lower back (think slipped disc). my neck is a little too straight for my own good.
That means, I need to stop wearing heels so that the 50yrs old will thank me. need to go for adjustment 3 times a week for first 3mths n whatever follows follows, which amounts to nerve hyper-sensitivity, which I felt caused the REM images to be so vivid, and light sleep becomes consciousness (for the past 2 months). I have no life, n as a form of therapy, the heart wld induce the body to cook (for others) therefore further reducing rest time (cooking! the marketing, the cleaning, the smell.. heavenly but not good for a open concept studio, at the same time)

on and we top it up with demands at work. well, everyone faces them. except that this happen to be a real tight semester w Prefects training n investiture at the same season. did I mention about how effective and on time some Indonesian ppl are? but well, the training went fine, the investiture was over, many thanks to great people that are involved.

the usually don’t come at all PMS hormones swing that is regulating and therefore pretty on-the-ball these 2mths? nobody likes to deal with hyper-happiness in the mind on 1 day (bcos the events for that day went well, PRAISE THE LORD!) and tearing the next bcos the family members n loved ones of the finalist for master chef came n visit (so touching! u know! family support! how long have they not seen each other and how much it meant to them. … )

oh, did I mention the still-unknown cause of the inflammation/rash at the back of the left knee, thigh? cld have been the seats of the flight, or attack frm “tomcat” insect, known to have caused death, w poison 12 times more potent than snake bites.  the traumatizing effects of seeing a muscular, well-sculpt female leg (nice thigh n calves btw) plague with a bigger than palm-sized, ugly, red-black-peeling-dark grey patch. yes, I absolutely love my legs. but praise the Lord, besides the discoloration it’s not giving me any problems now.

pic1of3 pic2of3 pic3of3

all these…

and frequent flying, of 6 times in that 2 months. I really don’t like flying, but I’ve found ways to cope w it.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Wanted to do the Serenity Prayer for the longest time. set it as my wallpaper.
I knew that the thigh is pretty much the only reasonable space for the next tattoo.
didnt get around to doing it bcos I was thinking, next time cellulite develops, it will look bad..

with that patch, forget it man, there’s no uglier thing that could happen to my legs. so there we are!
even had a whole dilemma to put leopard or not, same, it’s something I wanted. but obviously didn’t happen.

it’s the term break, since I’m not going anywhere (other countries/state as a holiday break) I really should do something that I had wanted to do. 🙂

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I can’t change, the courage to change the things I can, the wisdom to know the difference.”

I wonder how old I wld be when the next finds itself on me. From the mind to the body.

thanks for coming by.

Be Blessed

p/s: did I mention I’m doing dental braces, next? 😀 sure am thankful I am fit n strong, not weak and dainty.


Was preparing for the Korea trip and the idea of bringing and using mask came on.

Not like facial mask for the pimples and acne, but facial mask for disease spread prevention.

the lengendary N95:



and the Surgical mask:



I came to know about the N95 mask during the SARs season.
Didnt exactly used it, dont remember why too.


So… My thoughts were Surgical Mask is sufficient. Dont really need to get N95 for my Seoul trip.

Then my bff knocked me awake.


13.     Are surgical masks useful?

– Normal surgical masks are not effective in filtering fine particles (i.e. tiny particles that are 2.5 microns or less in width), although they can reduce the discomfort cause by haze by providing a barrier between the wearer’s nose and mouth, and larger irritant particles in the air.

14.       Are surgical masks the same as N95 masks?

– Surgical masks and N95 masks are different and were made for different purposes. Surgical masks were designed to protect the surrounding environment from the user’s own spit or mucous. Healthcare professionals use them (e.g. in an operating theatre) to prevent their own germs from infecting the patient.

– N95 masks were designed to protect the wearer from airborne particles. Studies have shown that they are at least 95% efficient against fine particles that are about 0.1 – 0.3 microns, assuming good fit on the wearer’s face.



So meaning to say Normal surgical masks protects others from us.

N95 masks protects us from others.
“at least 95% effecient against fine particles that are about 0.1 – 0.3 microns.”


so that was it… Hmm… 🙂

thank you Ms Leee~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thanks for coming by


Be Bless,

His Ways…

It was about a month and a couple of weeks ago, was just doing the regular prayers.
Committing and praying about the plans ahead.
Who dont right? 😀
Was asking the Lord about the future, sharing the doubts, asking where to go after my years in Jakarta are finished.

Through the conversations with friends and colleagues, plenty of opportunities were available.
Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, (just heard recently) London.

But thats the thing about having opportunities, its really not that easy to decide.
Especially considering Singapore is a good ground and my parents are still here.
So how?

It was a long stretch, been praying about it for a really long time.

So that night, after an interesting encounter, I felt a prompting in the heart, Korea. (nope, dunno if its South Korea or North Korea).

It was like a burden has been lifted off.

Although its clear that it would not be easy.

I thought I should visit South Korea as a birthday trip as well.
2 items were bugging in my heart, the future in terms of career and the future in terms of marriage. Who knows what that prompting was for right? only “God knows” as they said.

I went ahead and made plans. Even choosing not to have the refund facility available for flight tickets purchase, (dumb dumb…) so I die die will go.
I purposely chose the flight that had a stopover in Japan.

The MERS scare came along.
Not just about making wise decisions (despite of prompting) regards myself,
but also the need to think about the home
and the students in contact.

albeit there is a 3 weeks gap before getting back into classroom.
and that South Korea has one of the best medical and cellphone tracking system
and that the advise was to observe if there were more cases, if there is means initial measures were insufficient, therefore should avoid.

So… me of little faith, I went back to the Lord again… 😀
and as we know, He doesnt answer us as and when we want and His ways are always higher than our ways.

I thought I could do the lots thing to appease myself.

and having been with the Lord for years, I know… He won’t give me an immediate answer. 😀
So I listed a couple of possibility and a blank.


and we know which one I picked:

😀 Its a joke. 🙁 but well. 🙂 I am not surprised. cos thats Just how He is. 🙂
With faith.

thanks for coming by

Be Blessed

Jeju-do Olle Routes

There are like so many things to see and do in Jeju!

Interesting waterfall, caves, structures and formation..

In the end, instead of trying to do everything, I settled with doing the Ollie Routes.
The easy ones of course. 😀 albeit long distance ones.

Olle Routes are routes marked out in Jeju-do (Jeju-island) itself. Meaning from the start point, you’ll get to walk free and easy, guided by blue and yellow arrows on rocks and orange and blue ribbons on trees. Pretty awesome a?

Screen Shot 2015-06-07 at 2.49.59 pm

While there are bus, I heard its not extremely good. and their Taxi fare goes by calculation of km multiply by an amount. 🙁 seems confusing to me.
oh well..

guess thats the good thing about getting on Olle Routes

Go check it!

thanks for coming by

Be Bless

The Itinerary

Yes! I am very excited about the Korea trip.
Looking forward to feeling another city.
Initial plan was:

Day 1:
Garosu-gil / Sinsa-dong
Pyeongando Obuja – Pyeongan cuisine – Sinsa Station
Dosan Park – Apgujeong Station
Coreanna Art & Culture Complex – Apgujeong Station
Olympic Park – Olympic Park Station Line No. 5, P550

Day 2:
Insa-dong – Anguk Station, Line No.3, 328 (Cultural Shopping)
Samcheong-dong, Anguk Station, Line No.3, 328 (traditional house, quaint cafes)
Bongeunsa Temple No.3, 318 – Samseong Station
COEX Mall No.3, 318 – Samseong Station
Seoul Metropolitan Library – City Hall Station No. 1, 2
Ewha Woman’s Univ. & Sinchon – Line No.2 241 (University fashion)
Gureum Cafe (Night lights) – Dongjak Station Line No. 4, 9

Day 3:
Dongdaemun Market – Dongdaemun, Line No. 1,4 (Shopping Malls Street)
Namdaemun Market – Hoehyeon, Line No. 4, 425 (Traditional marketplace)
Myeong-dong, Line No. 4, 424 (Clothes & accessories, Cosmetic & Skincare Shopping)
Seoul Tower – Myeong-dong Station

Extra fillers.
Itaewon-gil – Line No.6, 630 – (Foreign shopping, leather, fur)
Hongik Univ (Hongdae) – Line No.2, 2A (Club Culture, Weekend flea market)
Munjeong-dong – Line No. 8, 818 (Outlet shopping)
Times Square – Yeongdeungpo Station, Line No. 1, 139 (Gigantic shopping mall)
IíPARKmall – Yongsan Station, Line No. 1J (Electronics paradise)
Sawore Boribap – Apgujeong Station
Gaeseong House – Apgujeong Station

Then upon spending time, realised that:
Samcheong-dong and
Samseong Station
are actually very different, very far away.

So it became:

Day 1:
Garosu-gil / Sinsa-dong
Dosan Park – Apgujeong Station
Coreanna Art & Culture Complex – Apgujeong Station
Olympic Park – Olympic Park Station Line No. 5, P550

Day 2:
Insa-dong – Anguk Station, Line No.3, 328 (Cultural Shopping)
Samcheong-dong, Anguk Station, Line No.3, 328 (traditional house, quaint cafes)
Seoul Metropolitan Library – City Hall Station No. 1, 2
Ewha Woman’s Univ. & Sinchon – Line No.2 241 (University fashion)
Gureum Cafe (Night lights) – Dongjak Station Line No. 4, 9

Day 3:
Myeong-dong, Line No. 4, 424 (Clothes & accessories, Cosmetic & Skincare Shopping)
Seoul Tower – Myeong-dong Station

While everything is relatively easy to find online, there are still somethings that do stumble me.

Like when I’m at the Gimpo International airport, where is the subway station for me to switch, to take to Incheon International airport?
I didnt know that the AREX Train connects the Subway train.

If I want to trek my way up from within Namsan Park to the N Tower, how do I get to the Namsan Park by foot?

Which is the faster way to the airport from my apartment? The landlord said and drew on a map, “after the second intersection, turn right” a… I dont recognise anything on the map………

So how? …

:/ Some answers are found, others? I guess to be found. 😀

after reading more, it became…


30th June 2015

Dosan Park Apgujeong Station Line 3, 336 Exit 2 Bus No.3422
Coreanna Art & Culture Complex Apgujeong Station Line 3, 336 Exit 3 Bus No.3422 / 141
Garosu-gil, Sinsa-dong Sinsa Station Line 3, 337 Follow map & walk
Samsung   d’light Gangnam Station Line 2-D Exit 8
Olympic Park Olympic Park Station Line P5, 550 Exit 3


1st July 2015

Insa-dong Anguk Station, Line 3, 328 Exit 6
Samcheong-dong Anguk Station, Line 3, 328 Exit 3
Seoul Metropolitan Library City Hall Station Line 1,2 Exit 5
Ewha Woman’s Univ. Ewha Woman’s Univ. – Line No.2, 241 Exit 2, 3
Gureum Cafe Dongjak Station Line.4, 9 Exit 1

2nd July 2015

Myeongdong Gyoja Myeong-dong, Station, Line 4, 424 Exit 8
Myeong-dong, Myeong-dong, Station, Line 4, 424 Exit 6
Namsan Park, Seoul Tower Myeong-dong, Station, Line 4, 424 Exit 3
All That Jazz Itaewon Station, Line 6, Exit 2


So this is what it is, from the looks of it, parks, cultural places and landmarks takes preeminent compared to shopping. 😀

But with the MERS scare… I really hope it will push through… 🙁

Thanks for coming by

Be Bless

That OCD

Planning for this Korea trip has been quite a journey…
Not just the selection of location part, even the reading through and putting things into proper pieces took its toll on me.

Lets talk about me first.
ME. 😀

I’ve always pride myself in being an introvert, a person with OCD symptoms.
This whole journey of planning for the trip really put things into perspective for me.

So, I’ve intended to spend a weekend working on the itinerary. Having started reading on physical books, I was glad Im more or less ahead.

Friday came, I chilled out, cos I wasn’t in the mood.

Saturday came, still chilling,
then its 5pm, ok, time to start, so I started on it. Had to do a Seoul one and a Jeju one.

Collected the information into a notepad.

Worked all the way into 3am. Managed to more or less put Jeju one together. Refusing to go to sleep bcos I really want to achieve something, I pressed on…
Suddenly its 4:30am.

So I stopped and went to sleep.
Woke up feeling light-headed and heart heavy bcos what I’ve started on is not finished yet.
Don’t feel like working on it as theres that bitter taste.
Ignored it and then finally started on it in the evening,
went to sleep on time.

Went to work, came back. felt the nagging impulse to do it, but still the bitter taste is nagging, okay, I shall not work on it bcos I won’t feel good going to work the next day.

and so this whole nagging impulse and bitter taste kept going on and on.
To the extend that I felt like running away from it entirely (a.k.a fly back to SG and not be bothered about it cos I don’t have the things with me)

and of cos after a period of not doing anything and resting up, I got it finished in the end.
and thats the thing I realise about me.

I understood it is therefore important for me to divide up the task and take time to complete a huge project.

If I began on a task intending to finish it there and then, its not gonna end well.

OCD Cycle


Thanks for coming by

Be Bless

Different Language


Was watching Mr Bean’s Holiday on tv the other day. His adventure while he was trying to get to Cannes for the film festival.


and it struck me, how would it be like if I were to travel and spend a little time in lands of language I do not know…



Those countries that Speaks Spanish,





heck, even Chinese,

or where I am now, Bahasa Indonesia,




I think the euphoria when who ever I was seeking help from and I finally figure out something together. 😀

Or it’ll just be damn frustrating.



I’m too trusting to be experiencing all these adventure I think. Too innocent, naive and ready to part with my resources I think. 😀



My life is boring, because I seldom travel without a plan. Its almost to the extend that I plan things down to the dot in the “i” and the cross on the “t”.


Well thats if I’m alone.


But if i’ve set time aside to explore, I believe I would 😀 *as I did in Hong Kong.
Then again these are still residential and “civilized” locations.


I wonder if I would survive if its a nature park or some island with volcano? 😀


Whats your adventure like?


Thanks for coming by


Be Bless

Awesome expats

OKay, now I’m going to introduce to you 2 awesome blogs.

They are really awesome.

More awesome than mine.

and when I say its awesome. its awesome.


They are basically my colleagues blogging about their adventure as really an expat.
not the fake expat like me. 😀



Screen Shot 2013-10-12 at 8.31.25 PM




Screen Shot 2013-10-12 at 8.34.20 PM


If you are looking for locations and sites in Jakarta to visit, thats their blog. 😀 Mine’s my boring old lifestyle blog. 😀


Go check them.


thanks for coming by


Be Bless