I’m Skinny, and I’m Unhealthy

Don’t envy my scrawny outlook

Many envied me for being skinny and they wished they were as slim as me. I wished they would stop commenting and envy how skinny I am no matter how much I eat. For the record, I’m unhealthy despite having a slim body.

My wife and I had to explain many times that I’m actually unhealthy and I have skinny fats hidden inside that small body frame of mine. Nobody in our circle of friends knew what skinny fats are or even heard of the term. To be honest, I didn’t know about it too. I got to know of it when I came across an article about it on Channel News Asia’s Facebook page.

Skinny Fats and Why It’s Deadly

How to Reduce Visceral Fat [And What NOT to Do to Shrink Your Belly]
side-by-side comparison shows how tightly packed the abdominal cavity can become with visceral fat Image from makeyourbodywork.com

The medical term for skinny fats is metabolically obese. Yes, I’m obese on the inside where unhealthy fats are surrounding my organs. I may look normal on the outside, but actually, I might have a slew of healthy issues beneath me.

I have a low muscle mass and my fat percentage is quite high, which I’m aware of after visiting ActiveSG Lab. They have this machine to measure your weight, height, muscle mass, fat percentage etc. I think it’s good for those who wish to know more about their body and what they could do to improve their health.

Health issues that people like me may face if we continue our unhealthy lifestyle are diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, stroke or even Alzheimer and cancer. We may have vitamin deficiencies too which can lead to fatigue or low concentrations levels.

Are you skinny fat?

As I was researching about skinny fats and what I should do to get back to being healthy, I came across this list on shape.com website:

  • Haven’t been lifting weights since years ago.
  • Experience constant “sugar crash” or “brain fog”, such as fatigue, low energy, or difficulty in focusing, memory or concentration.
  • Pass on protein-packed food.
  • Belly is bigger than the rest of the body.
  • Diet consists of excess carbohydrates, artificial sweeteners, sugar or processed food.
  • Feel light-headed after mild exercise.

I identify with most of what’s listed above and I can say it’s not something I’m proud of. I didn’t know I was this unhealthy and am glad that I came across an article about this topic a few years ago. It’s like a wake-up call to me that I need to get back and be healthy.

How am I affected? And what I did to get healthy?

Every time when I looked in the mirror or look down at my belly, I feel fat. Yes, skinny people like me do feel fat but I’ve my reason. I have a bulging tummy which nobody knows because it’s hidden beneath my clothes. That bulging tummy is a sign of skinny fats.

Before I started to get healthy, I’m always feeling tired. I’ve no mood for anything and basically, I need my afternoon naps. The words, food coma, that my friends have been using, I experienced that too. Being born weak with health issues when I was younger, my unhealthy lifestyle during adulthood isn’t helping much. After graduating from secondary school, I haven’t been exercising. Eating whatever I feel like having was also part of the contributing factor to me being skinny fat.

I’ve experienced pains to my knees. I thought taking glucosamine would help. It did but not much. Occasionally, my arms would be in pain too whenever I lifted them up. I live with these for years and thought it was normal and part of ageing. The biggest wake up call that I needed to do something was when I experienced sharp pain on my back. Thinking it could be due to work. And I didn’t want to end up like my sister who is now suffering from back pain and had to visit specialist to sought help.

I decided to get rid of my unhealthy lifestyle in year 2019. I’ve changed my diet, eliminating carbohydrates such as rice and noodle. My meals mainly consist of proteins, fruits and vegetables. I’ve also cut down on desserts and sugary drinks. Now I’m taking my coffee and tea without sugar which most of my friends thinks I’m crazy.

Year 2019 was also the year I started bullet journaling. And I decided to do a exercise challenge on a monthly basis with different exercise planned for each day of the month. I started small, example a 10 sit up for the start. It’s because I haven’t been exercising and I didn’t want to strain and push myself till I got myself injured. Each day I try to complete the challenge. I did increase the number of sets I had to do as I get the momentum of exercising.

Changes I noticed in myself

I’ve lost some weight but was told I looked healthier. I’m no longer taking afternoon naps. I no longer feel lethargic instead I’m much more alert. Concentration level while driving and at work got better too. Realized my bulging tummy got smaller too which was what I’m aiming for. This means my body fat percentage is gradually heading towards the healthy range.

The pain and aches that I’ve been feeling previously were gone. I can’t remember when was the last time I felt the sharp pain in my back or that my knees giving me the aches. I am no longer taking glucosamine to help with my joint issues.

I’ve found out that I’m lactose and gluten intolerant after my change of diet. Despite me being lactose intolerant, I do enjoy ice cream at a controlled amount. Not too much to avoid tummyache and many visits to the toilet.

My advice to everyone, always listen to your body. Some signs are an indicator to certain problems or illnesses that you need to address. Don’t ignore them like how I ignored my skinny fats issue. Health is important, don’t neglect some self love.

[Review] Experience at Mount Pleasant Gelenggang

Before Our Visit

At Namly Animal Clinic

After Twix had her x-ray at Namly Animal Clinic with Dr Ling, we were told she doesn’t do orthopaedic surgery and had to refer us to a specialist. She mentioned that there’s two specialist she would recommend us. Dr Landon and Dr Dennis Choi.

As I know who Dr Landon is as I spent most of my time scrolling on Facebook, his name was mentioned a lot in the Poodle Club Facebook group. It was mentioned that his fee can be expensive.

Due to budget, we opted for Dr. Dennis Choi who is based at Mount Pleasant Gelenggang. We’ve read a lot of bad experience with Mount Pleasant, but we decided to trust Dr Ling in recommending us the best veterinarian for Twix’s condition.

First Visit

At Mount Pleasant Gelenggang

Dear drove while I carried Twix in my arm during the journey. Upon arrival, we entered to find it quite crowded yet social distancing were adhered to due to covid-19 measures. As I stood looking lost because no vet technicians were available for me to approach at the reception desk. No one greeted me or asked me to wait while they finish with their task. Some were even seen chit-chatting casually among themselves.

So we managed to register after a good 5 minutes of waiting, we were told that only one owner is allowed in the premises although we noticed that some fur kid do have more than a owner around. But thankful to Dr Choi who allowed Dear to enter the room because I can’t decide on which treatment would be suitable for Twix. His kind understanding did help in our decision making and taking the stress off me.

Second Visit – Twix’s Discharge Day

Arrived at the clinic after work to pick Twix up. The reception’s vet technician called up to request for Twix’s discharge twice because we waited but no Twix walk out the door. Although it was about 30 minutes to get Twix discharged, not sure why the hospitalization room took so long to bring the daughter out to us.

Instructions of aftercare and medication were given to us clearly. Which I am satisfied with as I had a friend who told me nobody told her anything about after surgery care. And yes, she went to the same Mount Pleasant clinic as us.

Stitch Removal

Before & After Stitch Removal

When it’s time for Twix to remove the stitches, which I was told I don’t have to make an appointment and there’s no cost for the removal, I made time for it.

Took her to the clinic myself and was ushered into a room where a group of vet technicians was standing around as though they were waiting for our arrival. It was a quick procedure. Fuss and pain-free. Could see how comfortable Twix was.

However, there’s one vet technician who wasn’t friendly at all and insists that I head to the counter to check if I need to make payment for the stitch removal. Although I didn’t like the way she said it, I made my way there to check with the receptionist. Thankfully, no payment needed and we get to go home.

Review

The first review we had was a week after the surgery. Then another a month later. I would say the services rendered were much better than our first visit. Not sure what’s going on there or that it’s quite normal for a corporate kind of veterinary clinic.

From registering to seeing Dr. Choi to making payment, everything was a breeze and much better compared to our first visit. I would say, definitely there’s an improvement.

Skinny Bunny’s Thought

Many negative reviews about Mount Pleasant, but I’m thankful that our overall visits were pleasant. I guess, it depends on individuals and what’s your expectations are. For us, our main concerns was to get Twix treated by one of the best veterinarian in Singapore. As long as she recovers well with no complications and comfortable with the doctors and nurses there, I’m OK.

Do give Mount Pleasant a chance to prove themselves worthy if you have not visited the clinic before. I’m sure there is some nice and good staff there. Let’s not penalize them just for a few bad feedbacks online. (Maybe I’ll get flamed for trying to put good words for Mount Pleasant. Haha…) But honestly, everywhere will definitely have some bad apples around that tarnish the company’s reputation. Don’t let these bad ones deter you away from good veterinarians in the clinic.

Circuit Breaker Exit Phase 1

Work Frustration

It was a sigh of relief when the government announced that we will be exiting the circuit breaker phase by phase. I was waiting anxiously to see if pet grooming will be able to reopen for business. The joy that I had when I got to know that pet groomers can head back to work. My phone kept buzzing with incoming texts from anxious owners trying to get a slot for their fur kid’s grooming.

Of course I’m happy being able to head back to work. But the next update among the groomers were that home grooming isn’t allowed to operate. I felt as though my world had collapsed. Millions of questions running through my tiny brain. I decided not to reply customers for the time being as I needed to stay calm and work this out. I need to find a solution in order to work and start earning some income.

Contacting Nparks & MTI

My grooming instructor said we could contact the authorities for more information or to appeal. So I wrote in to both Nparks and MTI hoping one will reply me as soon as possible.

MTI replied first with a generic email. So I continued to wait for Npark’s reply in the hope that there’s more information before I could give my customers an answer. To be honest, it was a long wait.

Working From Home

I’ve decided to bring home the fur kids to groom instead. At least, I’m not violating any no visit rules. Pick up and drop off is allowed. So technically, I’m following the circuit breaker rules.

I had to text all the customers about the changes. And instead of complaints, I got a bunch of understanding customers. Very thankful that they go with the flow and changes that I had to make.

As I offered pet transport, I had to turned the car into a more comfortable ride for the fur kids. Putting down the back seats and covering it with our camping waterproof mat. Added a dog pillow for the fur kids to lie down too if they want during the ride.

Sometimes, I’m quite amazed at what I could actually do in time of crisis. Had to self praise myself once in a while I guess. *proud moment*

Discovered Tiktok

Hesitation

I knew about TikTok a few months ago when it started to boom all over the internet. I wasn’t sure if I should jump onto the bandwagon as well. Mainly for work because I do not want to be left behind in regards to technology. It’s a fast-paced world right now, and being left behind can be scary while your competitors are far ahead of you. And at a time like this, we need to keep up and change in order to survive during the pandemic.

I was curious and went to Google it for more information. It’s a social media solely for videos in case some of my readers have no idea what it does. However, according to my findings, TikTok’s users are the majority of youngsters. So if you’re intending to use it for business and your target audiences are the younger generations, this is where you should be lurking at.

What i Discovered

Finally downloaded the app after much hesitation. Created an account for both ourfamilee and my work. Wanted to have at least a personal account to scroll through pet videos or random stuff.

Before I follow any tiktokers, my feed was flooded with videos. There are some cute challenges that aren’t harmful. But the majority, in my opinion, are trying to hard to get attention. However, there are some videos providing information and knowledge.

For example, I’m following a veterinarian who is on Tiktok. He’s using this platform to educate pet owners about pet’s health. There’s also a couple who are traveling on a van and making it their home. It’s like documenting short videos of their adventures which are interesting to me.

Short Video

Tiktok is a place where you post short videos up to a minute long. It’s a place to showcase your talent in terms of content and creativity in that short time frame. Quite challenging actually.

Have been trying it out and I must say it’s not easy putting every information into a minute-long video. So far our Tiktok videos that received the most views are food-related. I thought it would be our fur kids, but I was wrong.

Nevertheless, it’s fun to try this out. And it’s a major milestone for me making this scary step. I’ve no idea how Tiktok will help in my business but there’s no harm to actually try it.

Hopefully, I’ll improve as time goes by. And yes, this is how I get through the second month of the circuit breaker.

Road Trip – Narooma, Durras North Beach, Ulladulla, Nowra (4 Oct 2019)

Breakfast at Tilba

Had breakfast at our Bed & Breakfast. While the host was preparing our meal, we spent some time with her dog, Bridee who loves being chased. She’s a little shy and wouldn’t come near us. But she seemed to enjoy herself when we started to chase her. And would always come back for more.

We did explore Tilba after breakfast when shops start to open since we couldn’t walk around the day before we arrive. We found a shop at the end where they sell many homemade bath bombs, lotions and bar soaps. They’re all so pretty to look and we decided to get one bath bomb. Which we will be using on our next accommodation, whichever one that has a bathtub.

Explored the other shops at Tilba before we head over to ABC Cheese Factory. They have a lot of different flavoured cheese and thankfully we get to try them before purchasing. Dear is a fan of cheese, and this is one of the must-visit shops.

Narooma

Drove down to Narooma for our snorkelling session. One of the itinerary that Dear insist of having since she started planning for the trip. The downside was, they do not offer a life jacket which is challenging for me as I’m not a good swimmer. But I went ahead with the idea, thinking that maybe Dear will hold my hand and calm me down during the session.

Dear told me she booked the one with whale watching too. So we’ll be out at the sea for a longer period. Upon arrival, we were told to wait due to bad weather out at sea. During the wait, I was hoping for the weather to get better so that I can enjoy what Dear had planned for me. Sadly, after about an hour of waiting, the session was cancelled.

We settled for a refund instead of rescheduling because we had to continue our journey towards Sydney and can’t possibly returning back to Narooma. A little sad because after that, I got to know that it’s snorkeling with seals session. It’s a surprise that Dear planned for me knowing how much I love animals. Awww….

Durras North Beach

We headed towards our next destination, Durras North Beach. Dear said I will know my next surprise when we get there. As I drove in towards Durras North Beach, the first thought was why Dear wants to bring us here. There’s nothing much to see except for some small buildings. As I drove further, I saw a mother kangaroo with a joey in her pouch. That’s where I decided to stop and park the car. Dear did not see that mother kangaroo till I alighted and walked towards it.

After taking some pictures of the mother kangaroo and her joey, we explored the place where we found more kangaroos just lazing about minding their own business. Got to see the awesome view of Durras North Beach too. The only downside of the place is that wherever you walk, you might be stepping on kangaroo’s poop.

It’s a nice place and it did brightens up my day after a disappointing morning where my snorkeling got cancelled.

Ulladulla

Arrived at Ulladulla where we visited the arcade first. It’s quite interesting to visit each country’s arcade as to me, the type of games varies. The one we visited here is more family oriented. It does includes games and rides for toddlers.

We visited Target in hope of getting some clothes, especially long pants as pajamas. Sadly, there wasn’t any size for me. We continued shopping and bought ourselves two glass mugs at AUD$2. The promotion, if I didn’t remember wrongly, was buy 1 get 1 free. One of our best buys so far other than my huge Mickey Mouse plushie.

Had dinner before we head off towards our next destination. Not much restaurants are open, thus we settled with an Italian restuarant that was opened.

Nowra

Dear drove us towards Nowra but half way through, we stopped by a petrol station and changed driver. There’s no street lights and we rely solely on the car’s light. However, the cars from the opposite direction, the lights were too bright and it blinded Dear. It’s dangerous and thus we decided to switch driver.

I took over the wheels and drove us to our next destination where we will be resting for the night. As a Singaporean, I am thankful that our streets are well lit and doesn’t have the problem like the one we experienced in Australia.

Circuit Breaker Day 31

Trial Retirement

Some say you can treat this circuit breaker as a retirement trial to see what retired life will be like. Since I am on mandatory leave from work, I decided to give this a try.

In fact, I do not know what retirement life will be like. Maybe it differs from each individual. And I just need to figure out what mine will be like. So from 7th April, I’ve embarked on the trial retirement journey and I’ve decided to write an entry.

First Week of Circuit Breaker

Before the start of the circuit breaker, I went back to work for 2 days after my medical leave. So the transition of not working is gradual, not a very sudden move.

I would say the first week was pleasant. It was just any normal day where I woke up and pestered Dear to make me breakfast. So basically, the first week, I have been requesting for food that I had been craving for.

And yes, I got the avocado smash that I’ve been requesting since forever. Kind of miss this ever since I had it in Australia during our road trip. I’m not a fan of avocado, but this definitely made me crave for it. Dear tried to replicate it and I would say, it’s awesome!

One Month of Circuit Breaker

Halfway through the circuit breaker, I have no idea what I want to do. I got bored and felt frustrated. It feels like I am sinking into depression anytime due to prolong quarantine at home. We were encouraged to stay home most of the time and only head out for essential errands such as grocery or to buy food. As a good citizen and hope that this will be over as soon as possible, I abide by the rules set by the government.

About two weeks before the circuit breaker was supposed to be over, the government announced the extension till 1st June. To be honest, I expected the extension but I didn’t expect it to be another month. But I know and understand that this is necessary if we want to keep this virus under control on this little red dot.

Trying To Keep Myself Occupied

In order not to sink into depression, I’ve decided to try and keep myself occupied. We’ve signed up for Netflix one month trial because we’ve no idea if we would want to subscribe yet. I’ve been binge watching Empress Ki since our trial signup. Read the first chapter of a book that I previously got from a friend who didn’t want it anymore when she moved to her current place.

It wasn’t enough to keep me occupied because I got distracted easily. So I made myself a sketchbook and decided to try doing some art again. A little rusty since I haven’t been drawing since I’ve left school. But practice makes perfect so who knows, I might improve once this circuit breaker is over.

Conclusion of Retirement Trial

Retirement is definitely boring for me if there’s no fur kids around. Yes, I’m spending my circuit breaker at Dear’s place where I can’t bring our fur kids over. And it’s kind of lacking something. So I’ve requested to have fur kids when we retire. At least there’s some annoying four legged trying to get my attention all the time.

I’ve been waiting eagerly to get back to the pet grooming world. I miss all the fur kids that I’ve been seeing regularly. And yes, pet grooming is so far my only hobby that brings me income. Kind of lost when I had to stop work. Maybe, if my body allows physical work, I’m hoping to groom the fur kids as long as I can.

5 Days of Medical Leave

Note: Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, our government said those with respiratory symptoms are to be given 5 days of medical leave. And those on medical leave are not to leave their home. If caught breaking this rule, a SGD$10K fine, up to a six-month jail term, or both.

Day 1 – 31st March

Weirdly, I woke up at 5 am with a blocked nose. I couldn’t get back to sleep, so I decided to do a quick toilet break. As much as I wanted to sleep, I couldn’t. I ended up turning and tossing and scrolling through Facebook. Thinking the blocked nose could be an allergy reaction and it might go away.

Apparently, it didn’t. Decided to be a responsible citizen during this pandemic crisis, I went to the clinic to seek medical help. Measures were taken in place such as temperature screening and noting down who had entered the clinic premises. Markings on the floor were seen to show patients where to stand and maintain a safe distance from one another. Everyone was wearing a mask and the clinic nurses would provide masks to those who weren’t wearing one. Which I think was commendable on their part for taking all the necessary precautions.

Queued since 8:15 am and left the place at about 10:30 am. The doctor said I had the runny nose, nothing to be alarmed as I do not display any other symptoms of the covid-19 virus. Was given a 5-day medical leave and told to stay home. And so, my stay-home adventure officially begins.

Day 2 – 1st April

The alarm rang as usual at 8 am, and I got nagged by Dear for having the alarm even when I’m on medical leave. She made me shut off my repeated alarm for the next few days.

Requested for cheesy garlic scrambled egg for breakfast. Dear used bottled chopped garlic and the taste wasn’t as flavourful compared to using fresh sliced garlic. There’s still the garlic taste, but it wasn’t what I remembered and like.

Took medicine after breakfast. Did some work on the laptop before the drowsiness kicks in. Waking up to dinner where Dear made braised pork and prawn bee hoon.

Dear simmered and did the prawn broth from scratch from all the shells that she’s been accumulating whenever she add prawns into my meal. It’s yummy that I asked for a second serving despite being sick and not much appetite. But this is worth eating a second serving. And no, I wasn’t exaggerating because it’s my wife’s cooking.

Day 3 – 2nd April

Without the alarm, I woke up at about 8 am in the morning. I guess it became a habit for me to wake up at this timing because it was feed the fur kids breakfast time. Waited for Dear to be awake before I request for tomato egg for breakfast. Which she added some blueberries and an apple.

Third day being at home and already feeling a little I need the sun! Been indoors and doing nothing much other than helping out with laundry. Dear prepare emperor chicken for lunch, I got the apple sliced and pop them into the dehydrator. Making some healthier treats for myself instead of binging on potato chips.

Dear was experimenting with new recipes. Got to try some keto-friendly Madeline. She made lemon and chocolate flavoured. I would say, I prefer the lemony one as the chocolate flavoured tasted a little off in my opinion. Not as chocolatey as I would have expected.

Dinner was butadon, but I had it without rice like the way I like it. Felt as though my medical leave have been nothing but eating and sleeping. And the cycle repeats again the next day.

Day 4 – 3rd April

Woke up a little later than usual. Had brunch before I started work in the kitchen while Dear did her stuff. Her mum went out to the market to get some grocery. The next thing we know, she came back and asked Dear to accompany her to NTUC for more grocery shopping.

Got a text to ask me to tune in to the LIVE video on Facebook where PM Lee was giving a speech where he announced circuit breaker period were to start from 7th April and last till 4th May.

All companies have to shut their offices and work from home. Essential services such as supermarkets, clinics, veterinary clinics, hospitals, hawkers and restaurant can operate as usual. Except that no dine-in are allowed. We may head out to get food but as a takeaway only. Schools will shut and lessons will be online.

After the announcement, my phone has been buzzing from anxious pet owners who wish to schedule an appointment before the circuit breaker kicks in. Apparently, pet grooming are under non essential and we’re to cease operation for a month.

Dear texted to inform me that NTUC was crowded and they’re trying to get out of the mall’s carpark. They’ll be heading towards neighbourhood supermarket instead.

With the sudden announcement from the government, many started to panic and caused a frenzy all over again at the grocery stores. Most essentials and food were swept off the shelves pretty quickly.

Day 5 – 4th April

My last day of medical leave and I was still getting texts from pet owners. As I work alone and I’m left with two days to groom as many fur kids as I can. While I was settling my work, Dear made me toast from scratch.

Didn’t nap at all even after taking the drowsy medication. Was too busy and worried about work that I wanted to settle as many appointments as I could. What a way to spend my last day of medical leave. Wasn’t looking forward to the two days grooming rush.

Road Trip – Salmon Rocks, Genoa Falls, Green Cape Lighthouse, Broadwater Oysters, Tilba (3 Oct 2019)

Salmon Rocks

Packed up and it’s time to say goodbye to Orbost. We headed towards Salmon Rocks. As I love beaches, Dear had planned to visit this for me to admire the sea. And no, I did not google search this place. In fact, in case I did not mention at the start of journaling our Australia trip, Dear is always the one who plans our trip itinerary.

The place was empty and it felt like we’ve booked the entire beach. Took our time to walk and explore the place. I tried looking for seashells, but there was none here.

Genoa Falls

Head over to Genoa Falls after exploring Salmon Rocks. We missed the turn towards Genoa Falls. I had to do a U-turn ahead and head back on track. If I am not wrong, there’s a season for waterfalls. Apparently, when we visited, it’s only a gentle stream of water.

We went over towards the stream and felt the cooling natural water. We explored the place and saw a monitor lizard lazing on the rock. And I happened to spot an eagle from afar. Loving nature so far. Something we don’t get to enjoy much back home.

Green Cape Lighthouse

You need a car to get to Green Cape Lighthouse. It’s not a very accessible place and it’s very out of the place. The route towards the lighthouse ain’t smooth. It’s more like terrain and our little hatchback was a little difficult to control on the uneven route. We had to drive with care considering there’s no proper road and no lanes at all. There were a few close shaves with cars coming from the opposite direction from around a bend.

As it was a dirt route, our entire car was covered with dust and sand upon reaching the parking area for the lighthouse. We had to walk a little further towards the lighthouse. And it was worth the long drive!

I’ve always wanted to see a lighthouse and finally, I am there. The wind was strong that day and we were shivering. The view was mesmerizing and we could literally sit there the entire day just to admire the scenery before us.

The public toilet here is very different. When you look down the toilet, you could see where your “business” will be going. And I saw a rat way down below. Such toilet, ain’t for the faint-hearted.

Broadwater Oysters

Because when we Google search for road trip itinerary, we came across a few who said it’s a must to try out oysters. There were a few recommended ones and Dear decided to go to Broadwater Oysters.

The place looks like a mini-lake to me. The first sight that greeted me was a dog lazing by the grass next to Broadwater Oysters. Entered the small shop and ordered a plate of small oysters. We were told to take a seat while our oysters were being prepared.

In the meantime, we tried getting the dog’s attention but to no avail. Our plate of fresh oysters is finally here. We tried them with and without the lemon. Gosh… It’s the freshest and sweetest oysters we’ve ever tasted! Never regretted making a trip to taste these fresh oysters.

Tilba

We arrived at Tilba, a town stuck in the olden time. Unsure where to park the car, we alighted to look for our Bed & Breakfast host to enquire. I was told it’s OK to park the car right outside their place. We did a tour of our accommodation, rest a little before we head out for dinner.

Tilba is a small town in which you can finish touring within a day. It’s so small that everyone knows each other. And they’re all so friendly. Loving how their dogs are so well trained too where they walked off-leash.

Had dinner at Dromedary Hotel. Was told that’s the only place we probably could find dinner around the area. As most shops are closed or closing, we decided to tour Tilba the next day before we continue on our road trip journey.

Road Trip – Sale, Wild Honey, Raymond Island, Orbost (2 Oct 2019)

Breakfast at Foster

We woke up for breakfast at about 8 am. Yes, breakfast was provided by the bed and breakfast host. The first thing I helped myself was fruit salad which I couldn’t resist not having. And a nice cup of hot black coffee. The host even made us some toast which I spread with nice butter. It’s nice to have a different type of breakfast considering what we usually have back home. Something interesting I would say compared to the usual bak chor mee or char kway teow.

While we were having breakfast, we were greeted by a wonderful sight of wild colorful Lories. We also had a small chat with a couple who were on a road trip too, but they were on their way towards Melbourne which was where we started from. Part of traveling free and easy is that you get to meet people of different countries and cultures. Making friends along the way, even if it’s just a hi-bye moment doesn’t seem so bad.

Sale

After breakfast, we loaded the car and bid farewell to our wonderful host. We arrived at a small town called Sale. After we parked the car, we decided to take a walk around. Visited a shop that sells practically everything. There are clothes, pet stuff, candies, and many others. I bought a collapsible bowl for our fur kids at AUD$2 and much better quality compared to the one I bought at Daiso years ago. Which eventually broke after using it a few times.

Entered a toy shop, and was greeted by a large size Mickey Mouse tsum tsum at the entrance. Which definitely caught my attention. There were two prices on the tag and we weren’t sure which is the right one. Head over to counter and enquire about the price and got to know it’s on sale! It’s AUD$20! And without hesitation, I bought it. Best purchase ever so far during the trip. It didn’t occur to me how we will be bringing this back to Singapore. But I’m pretty sure that Dear does know how to pack the luggage and this will be flying home with us.

Wild Honey (Cafe)

Head over to Wild Honey for brunch. Ordered a cup of flat white and smashed avocado to share. We weren’t that hungry yet since we had a filling breakfast before we embark on our journey.

I am not a fan of avocado, but I decided to give Wild Honey’s smashed avocado a try. And amazingly, it’s yummy. It doesn’t have the taste that I dislike in an avocado. Probably the other ingredients of the dish covered it up and making the entire dish amazingly nice. It was so good that despite being full, I finished it. But of course, not by myself but I had most of it. Now thinking back, I do miss this a lot. Asked Dear to try to replicate the taste and hopefully, it’s as yummy as the one I had.

Raymond Island

We headed to our next destination. And I totally have no idea about it till we get there. I parked the car and made our way to catch a ferry ride towards Raymond Island. Upon arrival, I saw the signs and realized that we were there to see some wild koalas. Part of the surprise planned by Dear without me knowing.

I was a little disappointed when we couldn’t spot any till a kind ranger asked if we were koala hunting. He told us one male koala was sleeping on a tree right outside his office. He even shares with us how the koalas on the island were cared for. Thank you for the information, appreciate the work that you and your team did for the koalas on the island.

It’s a small island with not much residency. As we followed the koala trail, we managed to spot a few more koalas. And also thanks to the kids around who seem too excited spotting the koalas that we get to see some hidden among the trees.

It’s a nice place to stroll even if you’re not there for the cute little tree huggers. Do bring along your sunglasses. The sun can be glaring when you look up at the trees to see the koalas.

Orbost

Address: 94 Salisbury St, Orbost VIC 3888, Australia

Arrived at Orbost to rest for the night. Stayed at Orbost Country Roads Motor Inn. After checking in, we parked our car right outside our room’s doorstep. We got greeted by a friendly neighbor staying next door. Unloaded our stuff before we head out for dinner.

Address:  63 Nicholson St, Orbost VIC 3888, Australia

Most places were closed, thus we decided to dine at Orbost Club Hotel. To me, it’s like an old school diner place. It’s quiet considering we were the first few customers for the dinner crowd. Ordered steak with fries and salad on the side. It’s a decent meal and filling in my opinion.

We didn’t stay out long as Dear had a scheduled skype call with her friend for some programming lessons. Yes, even on vacation, Dear didn’t forget that she needed to upgrade her skills.

Happy Birthday to Me (21 Feb 2020)

How I wish To Celebrate My Birthday

Decided to visit Disney Magic of Animation Exhibition on my birthday. And have been waiting ever since I got to know of its existence in Singapore. As a Disney fan, particularly bias towards Mickey Mouse, it is a must-visit for me.

Due to the Covid-19, we had to see how bad the situation gets. Thankfully, the number of cases in Singapore per day have been decreasing. And the number of recoveries has been increasing. So despite the virus going on, we decided to go ahead. To reduce our contact with the crowd as much as we could, I made the decision that we drive out towards the Art Science Museum.

Tips: Parking at Marina Bay Sands is expensive. You may park at Gardens by the Bay if you would like a cheaper alternative.

Disney Magic of Animation Exhibition

Where: Art Science Museum
When: 26 Oct 2019 to 29 Mar 2020

We paid via Standard Chartered credit card, on top of the 15% discount, we were given a Simba Funko Pop. It’s while stock last and thankfully we’re lucky enough to get our hands on it.

Entering the exhibition is like going back through time. I got to learn how Disney started and got to where they are now. It’s amazing to learn so much such as them studying animals’ movement for the movie, Bambi. It really takes a lot of time and effort to perfect an animation from start to finish.

At the end of the exhibition, we were greeted by a small section of merchandise. So much to choose! Wanted a tee, but it’s difficult to find my size. Adult sizes are too big. Kids sizes are just right but the length of the shirt is too short. After browsing the entire collection, I decided I would want a bowl. Despite the hefty price tag, Dear said it’s OK to get since I like it a lot.

My Birthday Thoughts

As I got older, celebrating my birthday has become more of wanting to spend it with my love ones. No big birthday bash, no fancy restaurants. A simple meal and doing what we like has become what I’d prefer now.

Maybe I am beginning to see that spending time with love ones are important thus my priority now. It’s like what many said, you won’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow. Cherish the people around us before it’s too late.

I am happy now and hope it will stay this way.