Marina Bay Staycation

*Wrote this on 22nd March, 2017*

I’m currently on my 49th floor hotel room of Marina Bay Sands, the dream hotel of our city.

It’s 4.28am, and like I said always, the night is mine to keep. My two friends are asleep in the hotel room now and I’m on the balcony overlooking gardens by the way, which, looks like a miniature version of some lego toyland.

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Today has been a pretty hectic day. I invited my parents over in the evening to go to the observation deck of our city-shall not talk about it much but the surprise definitely didn’t go as planned. They weren’t disappointed, but not as happy as I would like them to be. I want to see them laugh and smile. It dawned upon me it would probably take me a long time, and probably lots of effort, but I do really want to see them happy. All in all when I parted with them there’s this feeling that came over me-like what I tried wasn’t enough. It’s like, this feeling of emptiness came over me-not sure how to describe it…You know the feeling when you said goodbye, but at the back of your mind you’re worrying about them, thinking about their reaction earlier? Wondering what they could be doing/thinking after you left? That feeling when after you said goodbye, you wanted to walk back and go back there to explain more stuff, to reassure them and to check if they are feeling okay after you leave? That was how I felt after my parents left because I felt they are not exactly satisfied, not exactly happy and I felt like I failed.

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I always thought I’ll be happy with just being with my friends or even enjoying this whole staycation. Turns out I cannot be happy if I know my loved ones are walking home not feeling happy. A friend always told me I shouldn’t think of others too often and should start thinking for myself more, but I can’t help it. I can’t enjoy if something burns at the back of my mind.

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Day vs Night. Our beautiful room view.

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That being said, I decided i needed something stronger in the night to get past this. Wanted to order a beer, and go to the rooftop Club Ce La Vi so impulsively. So off I went. I went alone because my friends weren’t really interested in clubbing. If it was me in the past, I certainly would not go myself if my friends didn’t join in. Now I would say the feeling of agreeing to go alone is really one of the best feelings ever. It’s not really freedom, but more of liberation. The more I grow up the more I think it’s okay to be alone. The more I allowed myself to think it is okay, the more afraid I got. I’ll be turning 20 in a few days time, and the more I gave myself the permission to sit alone with my thoughts and not feel alone, the more fearless I got.

I felt like I was doing myself a big favour.

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So off I went to Ce La Vi, really excited to club alone with no one disturbing me. However, just barely 1 minute into the club’s dance floor and a really dodgy guy approached me and said, “Who are you?”

I was stunned. I mean, what impression can I have of guys trying to pick up girls at a club…it’s so obvious that he’s trying to do so, but what made me more disgusted was that he asked, “who are you?” in such a questioning voice, with no tact and respect at all. What do you mean by, who are you? Is it questioning my authority? Or do you mean to ask what’s your name? Even if you want to pick up girls, at least have charm……….

Hesitantly I said, “Grace.”

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Not to be judgmental but he just looked…pervertic, disgusting, short, even shorter than me HAHAH but of course I don’t base off impression solely on looks, mostly how I see the person at first glance and chances are I was already on my guard with him because I can tell he’s trying to make really superficial connections, so nothing really matters.

He then proceeded to ask me a set of meaningless questions. I hate small talk. “Are you a student? Where are you from? Are you local? Here alone?” Then he asked me for a dance, which I kindly (and awkwardly) rejected by slipping out of the club saying I have to find my friends. I was damn angry at him for ruining my night LOL I didn’t even get to dance but that’s when I have no choice but to call Jengwen up to be my ‘bodyguard’. haha.

Honestly though, I don’t know what’s the big deal about the infinity pool. Last time, I thought being on the infinity pool would make me feel like on the TOP of the world. Today, however…

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…I’m not so sure.

I guess the first sentence that came to mind when I saw this picture wasn’t, “im on the top of the world!” But it was, “the best people in life are free.”

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After swimming, we went to PasarBella for dinner where I ate a super money-sucking beef taco for $16 that burns because its so spicy. The next day I had trouble getting out of the bathroom hahahha fml. Wanted to get a beer but it’s freaking $14 for just one pint, forget it man.

We finally watched Shawshank Redemption in the comfort of MBS’s hotel bed today!! Watched from 2am and the movie ended around 4am. My friends were selecting for a movie to watch and Shawshank has pretty good reviews and MANY people actually spoke very well of it, so we had to watch it. I was nervous as hell, I have prepared one whole month to watch this movie. Wanted to watch it at home but this movie…even teachers & friends said it was good, it cannot be summarised in just one word: good. So MBS would be a good occasion to commemorate this. Maybe my expectations were very high from the start. Didn’t know what to expect because I don’t know what would it do to me emotionally, or maybe deep down, I feared i wouldn’t find it as good and I would be disappointed that I’m disappointed.

I would say its not bad! The only time I cried was when Brooks Hatlen committed suicide. Surprisingly, I didn’t get very emotionally invested in it, but seeing prison life is really…an eye opener. It’s very hard to practice watching this movie with empathy when we are watching from the outside world. I would say it gave me a very surreal feeling, like a world within a world, as if prison life is a parallel universe to the life outside, in different realms.

Do you get more attached to people, or places?

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I used to be very insecure about my side profile. I had veins on my left cheek that I touched with filters. HAHAHA.

Anyway, I managed to catch more movies before my Netflix subscription ends, I loved Gladiator and A Beautiful Mind the most. Both of them are equally inspiring but a beautiful mind has darker themes…I don’t know what to say, Gladiator makes me want to immediately teleport to the Roman empire and the Colosseum. I love watching historical dramas and recently, I have started to watch dramas that bring about some themes of patriotism, countrymen, fellowship, power, rule, war…I don’t know why. I am getting more and more indulgent in these works of fiction (and non fiction) and I honestly think it’s influencing me in a more positive manner.

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Gladiator. My favourite part is where they say fear and wonder is a powerful combination. It is inspiring and I know it is, that’s why I’m working towards it.

I like the part where Maximus purposely kills someone in a freaking brutal manner, then shouts, “Are you not entertained?! Isn’t that what you’re here for?!” It is like sarcastically scolding the audience, seeing that he has to please the crowd as a gladiator.

It is controversial how the mob of Rome are entertained to just gather in the colosseum and witness brutal fights and killings by gladiators (and delight in it, yes). Something our society wouldn’t be able to understand. It’s the same thing as a circus. Why would you want to pay and go there and be entertained to see tortures of animals?? Let alone human killing.

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My favourite line from the whole show “A Beautiful Mind”. HAHHA kidding. It does make me smile though.

I used to not have a worldview. I used to not have a vision. Maybe I was too young. Maybe I was just restricting myself to romance and chick flicks, I don’t know. As my interest in trades, business, culture and human behaviour increases, I realised the world is big—and it is out there—which also made me realise its pretty foolish to stay cooped up in your own small pool of problems one day. Even if we can’t physically go out and see the world, we should be involved in one way or another.

I hope as a designer, it does fund some inspiration to my creative bank.

I can only pray.

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