Returning to school has been both anxiety-inducing as well as a blessing. On one hand, I am working to shake off rust (I haven’t taught a full class in well over two months). I’m also getting used to a new office space and two new co-teachers.
However, it does feel good to get back into a proper routine. Work typically gives me the structure I need to live a more disciplined life. I don’t think I could do any more free-wheeling eating days chock full of ice cream, candy bars, cookies, and potato chips without triggering a cascade of physical and psychological mayhem.
Regardless, vacation photos are awesome as they allow me to reminisce about the good times. My parents and sister visited me in Namak/Mokpo for four days, we swung up to Pyeongchang for one day and then we migrated south for some Singaporean summer fun.
My parents appreciate the opportunity to meet my misfit friends, but their noraebang performance left something to be desired. I blame the jet lag.
“Now smile and pretend you like each other.”
“Dawg, why are they copying us?”
“I don’t know, man. Humans are weird.”
Korea loves cartoons. Even important warnings must be cute.
Pyeongchang was very spread out, but we made our way.
We scored tickets to the Women’s Big Air Snowboard finals. It was “totally rad” as the kids would say? Right? They still say that, yeah?
I just wanted to take a picture of the snowboard ramp, but this guy insisted on taking a selfie at the exact same time.
America! F@&# yeah!
When you’re too busy staring at the Jumbotron to realize you’re on TV.
I found a wild bear at Incheon Airport. Don’t worry. I saved the day with my air rifle.
Clarke’s Quay (which I later learned rhymes with “pee”, not “pay”. English is weird.
The rustic architecture and lush vegetation give Singapore a serious summer wonderland vibe.
My parking is fully organic and handmade. That’s why it’s so expensive.
We entered Chinatown by day.
We exited by night. I prefer this tunnel of lights at night.
Singapore had temples galore.
No trip to Singapore is complete without a plate of Hainanese chicken and a bottle of Tiger.
We frequented many food centers like this one. $3-5 plates of good food and $1 coffee made for gluttonous evenings.
“And the gods forced them to carry water buckets with their feet buried in concrete. They soon turned to stone.”
Chinatown was buzzing that night.
Marina Bay was gorgeous. My family stayed at the iconic hotel on the right after I left. I’m sure it was just okay and I didn’t miss out on anything :P.
Seeing this place made my day. Three days and I already missed Korea a little.
Also, with my shirt sitting offset I got the most lopsided sunburn of my life.
Lush gardens on high balconies were not an uncommon sight here.
I was disgusted. A whole two-month soju budget for one bottle here? Ridiculous!
Colonial Park had many plants representative of crops raised during British rule (e.g. rubber and cinnamon).
For a notoriously safe country, Singapore had a lot of menacing signs.
I was strolling through the park one day…
Giant naked baby in my way…
We met the cast of Friends (they’ve all aged quite a bit except for Jennifer Anniston).
The supergrove was super green.
I took three pictures because it was thrice as nice.
I enjoyed watching the minute clock move super slowly, reminding me that my time on Earth is slowly but surely ebbing away.
Sentosa was gorgeous if a bit pricey. I could see myself having lots of fun here if I made slightly more than English Teacher money.
From the southernmost tip of continental Asia, I pretended to survey a kingdom on which I had no claim.
The linguistic diversity of street names was amazing.
It made for interesting GPS directions.
“Turn left on Tanjong Pagar Road.”
“In 500 meters, turn right on Craig Street.”
So now I can translate “Smith Street” into Mandarin. I’m sure this will come in handy someday.
The linguistic diversity (Singapore’s official languages are English, Mandarin, Tamil, and Malay) provided incredible visual and aural input.
Some dragons and drum-busting, pot-banging musicians decided to interrupt our pleasant dinner with something that resembled music.
I love how the Malay language is more true to the International Phonetic Alphabet. English sucks.
I don’t know what this place was called. I just knew we were in Johor Bahru right next to the border. I just called it the Mall of Malaysia.
“Ah Fook! I thought Jalan Won was on the right!”
More appreciation for Malay spelling.
DJ Malay! We the best spelling! Another one!
Some dog papparazzi wouldn’t leave me alone.
It was great seeing these two again. I hope they are reacclimating well to the new time zone.