Friday, November 20, 2009

The Ups and Downs of the Week

What a're in for a long post today.  So you might want to grab your hot cocoa and snuggly blanket and settle in. 

Monday and Tuesday - This will be short because I can barely remember that long ago :).   

Wednesday - Wednesday is "time out" day at work. Official work hours are 8:30 to 5:30, so on Wednesday's you're suppost to leave at 5:30.  Every other day we should also leave at 5:30, but no one does.  Even on Wednesdays no one does.  So I left the office a little late, but needed to go get a passport photo for my Chinese visa application that I was turning in on Thursday morning.  I headed up the street (3 bus stops) to Tanglin Mall where I thought I remembered a passport photo machine.  The machine was not where I thought it would be; turned out no machine but a Kodak photo express lab (!) and got my pic taken there. I had 10 min and headed to the DIY store, literally named DIY for do-it-yourself and is a mini Ace Hardware. I wandered knowing there was something I needed.  Indeed - I left with a toilet brush, shower liner and sticky tack for posters.  The shower line was a clear, standard liner.  How much?? Guess. But it was the cheapest of other options and what I wanted and hadn't found elsewhere, so it was bought.

Pics are done, let's go home! Oh! Almost forgot that I got stuck in a snow storm!! :)

Yep - bubbles! :) Singapore's very own version of the snow storm.  It was really cute all the little kids running around in it and getting their pictures taken.  Not too far away is the portable faucet so everyone can wash the suds away. They go all out for Christmas here. I think the stores have been playing Christmas music (all familiar tunes of what we hear in the US) for the last 3 weeks at least.  The streets, trees, etc. are all lit up at night.  Here's a pic from when I passed by this same spot one night on the bus.

I updated my blog for the evening and went to bed.

Thursday - First agenda point for the day was to get my visa application accepted at the Chinese Embassy.  It's just down the road from my apartment. Entry hours are 9-11:30 only.  I was determined to be in line at 9 when they opened.  I of course left the house later than expected, but the bus stopped down from the embassy at exactly 9:00! Of course the large line of people had already started going in.  I got into the building quickly and was sent to queue 6.  Soo many people inside, I was going to be there all morning! But those Chinese are efficient; I was at the counter by 9:35, needed to copy my local residency card, but otherwise application accepted! Another 10 minutes in line at the copier, drop it back off at queue 6 and I was out of there and into a taxi in under an hour.  I was so impressed.  We'll see how picking it up goes on Monday morning.  I'll need to be there at 8:30 or earlier I think.  I would have taken pictures, but embassies are sensitive to photos and I wasn't going to jeopardize my application.

Then comes the end of the day.  It's raining.  It's rained all week.  This is the winter (monsoon season) in Singapore - rain not snow.  Granted it is a warm rain, so it really isn't that bad. Until .... you are getting out of the taxi, catch your heel on the hanging strap of your computer bag and fall into the bushes and curb, all in the rain. The look on the taxi driver's face was shock, he did ask a couple of times if I was okay.  Really I was, just more pissed off than anything.  So I compose myself and go to leave and my heel is stuck in the storm drain. Really?! Take off shoe, pull out shoe, put on shoe and go inside.  All wet, annoyed, what an end to the day. 

But it got better. I went home and made a sandwich with some of my remaining groceries. I took some leftovers to have on the side. It was wonderful :D!  I had some turkey, tomatoes, havarti cheese, avocados and chili mustard on wheat (or wholemeal as it's advertised here). The leftovers were chopped up into my mini-bowl - tomatoes, avocado and havarti.  I also added some chopped roasted red peppers - that went a little better with the havarti and left the tomatoes and avocado for some tostidos :).

Friday - Woke up to the bright sun, got a lot of work accomplished and arrived back at the office just in time to change and head out for the Bull Charge! No, this isn't Spain, it's a short race that benefits a variety of charities.  My company is the honorary auditor, so we got a certain number of slots.  My co-worker talked me into it - only 3.2 kilometers, so I figured it wouldn't be that bad.  But oooh it was so painful :).

Here's the before picture.  I also took pictures along the way.  Can't say I was as successful as the friendly neighborhood RD, but I got some early pics off and then at the end.  In the middle, it was just a struggle to keep running.  Ser Yan (pictured below in the after picture) ran with me even though she could have blown me away.  She kept me running, otherwise I would have walked a good chunk of the race.  When I finished, I was very happy that I actually ran the whole thing!! (no matter how slow or close to walking it may have been ;) ). It was a sweaty finish, but a good run.  Time to get home for a cold shower and go to bed! :)
After and during pictures:

Everyone warming up pre-race. I did not warm up, needed all the energy I could muster.

I was soooo hungry.  I wanted to steal this kid's chicken wings.

Oh, forgot to mention there was a doggie run that started just before our fun run.

My time! I will gladly accept this effort. :D

A successful race, lots of sweat but smiles all around.

And I will leave you with the Singapore skyline....Good night and have a great weekend!

*Anyone still reading? The shower liner was a whopping S$17.99!

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