So this is the new year – HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! I believe it’s going to be a year of training and adjustment for me. It’d be quite a slog changing my behaviours and the way that I think and react from being a single, self-centred guy to a married, more sharing and caring kinda man. Tonight is an example – Yani and I are in Singapore at the moment and we will be here for the next 5 days. We landed in the evening and I told her that we should probably spend the evening in the hotel. New Year’s Eve is traditionally the time for me to reflect and pray – it’s an intensely private time. I’d rather spend it on my own thinking and re-digesting what I learn throughout the year rather than partying or watching some fireworks with thousands of strangers.
I relented at the end by suggesting that we go to Orchard Road and have our dinner there. I will share about Orchard Road later – but more about my experience. We had a scrumptious dinner at Xin Wang Hongkong Café at the new ION Orchard. Afterwards, I mentioned that we should walk towards Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station and take the train back to the hotel (we’re staying at Link Hotel in Tiong Bahru, away from the hustle and bustle!). Yani wanted to see the fireworks at Esplanade and knowing from past experience that New Year’s Eve is a HECTIC time in Singapore, I refused and said that there would be lots of people and that I wouldn’t want to face thousands of people wanting to go home and rushing to the MRT stations and cramming inside the trains. I agreed at the end because by the time we were at Dhoby Ghaut it was already around 11pm, and besides, marriage is about taking and giving right. I must admit that I did show my grumpiness, walking all the way from Dhoby Ghaut towards City Hall and then onwards to the Marina area. We couldn’t get closer to the Esplanade as the police had cordoned off around the complex. We did see some spectacular fireworks but the nightmare began when we tried to head back to City Hall station. We had to fight off thousands of people on the way, pushing and shoving their way. At the station, because we didn’t have our MRT tickets, we had to get the tickets first before we could enter the station. All in all, we spent one hour just reaching the station from when we saw the fireworks. It wasn’t my ideal New Year’s Eve celebration. I was a total grump by then – and I am still feeling pretty grumpy about it as I felt I had lost some valuable time reflecting about my time in 2009. I know I shouldn’t dwell on the negativity for too long. Marriage is all about adjusting and growing together.
If you’re wondering what Yani and I did from the day we were married until now – well, nothing much to share except for spending time with her family and paying her extended family a visit. I believe it’s only honourable for me to spend more time in Surabaya since Yani will be “taken away” to Adelaide shortly and that they will have limited access to her. We also visited my bestman Vito and her family in Lawang, about 1.5 hours away from Surabaya. He drove us around so we could taste local cuisines in Lawang and Malang, the neighbouring town – he even gave us heaps of food to take home with! His mum produces some biscuits and traditional Chinese flaky pies. We visited her shop and after I put my purchases into the basket, I wasn’t allowed to pay for them! I also adore his family – his parents are really charming and it’s the kind of family that I want to emulate in the long run. His dad is also about 9 years older than his mum but they seem so harmonious together. 🙂
Now about Orchard Road – the last time I was here was in January 2009 but it seems that there are a lot of new buildings in Orchard Road since then. New swanky malls and shopping centres are everywhere – I suppose they are the government’s effort to keep the economy going while the crisis hits. Besides, with the ever increasing number of tourists from Indonesia and China, the malls will sure be well visited and well utilised. 🙂