Short Location Update

I’m back in school for the second week now and honestly, I haven’t done a sliver of work but I have been as attentive as I can during class. So far. I’m trying to go paperless this semester, and since my modules are not terribly crazy with mathematical formulae, I think I can handle it. 

Anyway being back in Singapore has been great. I am still trying to embrace the weather, but the sun is shining in a minute and its torrential rains the next. It’s crazy I feel like if you combine the San Francisco winds with this rainfall it’ll be a full-blown typhoon. 

I’ll be back again soon once I catch up with my lectures and tutorials. Yikes.

xx

Southpacking Part 1: Santiago, Chile

I’m alive all! It’s been a whole year since I was in South America with my amigos Sheila, Alex and Nipton! So I am here finally deciding to write about it because my year in the USA has come to a close and I am back in my sunny island by the sea (I have realized that island by the sea is redundant, because islands are naturally by the sea, unless they are in a lake..? I digress.) I haven’t been updating because I am super overwhelmed being back. I love being back (but if the temperature could just be 10degrees Celsius lower that would be great). I don’t really intend this to be a guide for traveling. I can’t possibly write a detailed guide one year belated. It would be outdated and irresponsible.

A lot of planning went into this 11-week trip. Because it’s a strange land, I can’t speak a shred of Spanish, and it was the longest period of time I was going to be away from home. My parents and sister really supported me through the trip and it would have never been possible without them. I’m forever grateful.
We knew we wanted to travel in South America before heading to California and there were some hiccups along the way, but eventually we made it back alive and I wouldn’t exchange it for the world.

Getting from Singapore to South America 

This one is a tricky but fundamental issue. We kinda had an idea where we wanted to venture, which areas of South America we were headed. That being said, flights to Sao Paulo from Singapore are in the area of S$3000 and upwards. There was no way we could afford that and still plan for 11 weeks. We’re poor students. The flight there took up the main bulk of the costs. We ended up taking LAN to Santiago from Sydney. Yeah, that’s a pretty long way around the world, but as scrimping engineering students, you can bet that this is the most calculated and cost-saving route.
We took flyScoot to Sydney and I took half a row of seats for sleeping which was awesome. Spent a night in Sydney and took a plane straight to Santiago the next morning. LAN was surprisingly awesome. Having never heard of such a flight carrier, I was truly blown away by the quality of wine they had. Hey, it’s Chilean after all!

Santiago, Chile

When we arrived in Chile, it was winter. As a tropical islander, this did not go down well and I piled on layer after layer of clothing. We had 4 nights to acclimatize to the mucho frio temperatures while exploring the city. Santiago is beautiful, I wish I could have captured how the city was framed by the Andes mountains better. Everything was a breath of fresh air because I had on travel goggles and everything seemed novel and exciting. After getting over the fact that they have an amazing mountain range backdrop, the second thing that struck me was that there were dogs everywhere. I’ve seen so many friendly and silly-looking dogs here, dogs that followed us around and seemed like they were guiding us across the street, dogs that slept with their bellies up, dog walkers with 10 dogs and dogs that bark at bicycles. Dogs that sleep like humans. They are super adorable.

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View from San Cristobal

San Cristobal was our first hike of the trip. It was a primer for the Torres Del Paine National Park (will update next time). It wasn’t super tough to hike up the hill,  save for a few steep portions. But the view was great, there was a statue of Maria at the top of the hill. I remember interacting with people from Uruguay and Paraguay on the way down who were intrigued by the Timberland shoes we wore. (Not we, but the other three were wearing them.)

Santiago has parks peppered around the city and we managed to go Santa Lucia, which has some unique architecture and sculptures.

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Santa Lucia was like the city park I never knew I wanted. There were so many elements which made the park pretty architecturally. And although it was winter, there was greenery. Admittedly, they didn’t have many people in the park at the time that we went, so it wasn’t super lively or anything. But the whole vibe and decorative accents made it interesting. File under: inspiration.

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Brick and cement accents in the park Santa Lucia

We also walked past this park we named the PDA park.
Because there were so many couples making out. Everywhere. Actually, the whole Santiago is made up of couples making out. 

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PDA park: a couple in each others’ arms

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Emporio La Rosa

And food highlight of Chile: ICE CREAM
Emporio La Rosa has really good ice cream with a crazy number of flavours, I wouldn’t say it could beat Bi-Rite in SF, but it was definitely very appetizing and unique.

After the 11 weeks, most of my Spanish vocabulary consists of food. (I’m a true Singaporean) We ate a lot of ice cream here and learnt about fruit names. I saw so many people wearing awesome shoes that I told Sheila I needed to get a pair when I came back. (And we did.) I don’t think we’ve explored enough of Santiago, but at this point we were jet-lagged and anxious to get out of the city and into the wilderness. There is so much history in Chile, and we learnt a lot from the free (not so free) city tours. I had an awesome privilege of rooming with Luz, a Chilean girl in Berkeley and she filled me up with so much Chilean history. I wish I could type it as eloquently as she explained it to me. But all I want to type now is that Chile is so rich in its landscapes and history, I definitely need to return.
We day-tripped to a little town called Valparaiso which was around one or two hours away from Santiago.

Valparaiso, Chile

Valparaiso is colorful and charming. We alighted right in the middle of a flea market. Immediately, locals told us to keep our cameras in our bags because robbery is not uncommon in the area. Honestly, we made that out via their body language because our Spanish was so poor. This happened twice, so we were pretty wary about people around us. Please don’t take my camera I want to take nice photos of the next 11 weeks.
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Valparaiso’s slums

Isn’t it ironic how all these slums are so chaotic that they make such a picturesque sight? The colors and chaos are everything. There are these wonderful paint jobs, graffiti, alleys and structures here. So many people warned us of robberies but thankfully we didn’t get robbed. We did hear about other travelers getting robbed though.
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That’s the furnicular we took to get some views. There was a queue for it and it brought us up to this little town up there where there were cafes, shops and schools. We saw a preschool having an excursion here and they were dressed up in some cute sailor outfits. I had no idea what they were but the babies were too cute and distracting.
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Maybe it’s because I look like a star? Hahaha

We just spent the day traipsing through the colorful town, and got stopped by two large groups of students wanting to take photos with us. They were so intrigued! I guess we really were like aliens to them. In Santiago, we were very obviously foreign and we got a lot of stares from people on the streets but we got used to it by the second or third day.

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Imagine the Bear in the Big Blue House. That’s his Big Blue House. Just kidding I believe that’s the navy’s building. Valparaiso is by the sea, so I guess it makes sense? Chileans from Santiago come here during the weekends for little trips to the beach and why not? It is so quaint!

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It’s like I’m in a Wes Anderson film set.

All these colors bring joy to my heart and a quite the departure from Santiago. It’s no wonder people like to escape to here from the city. When we were there it was winter, but the temperature was more bearable than in Santiago. But that could be because we got used to the cold quickly. It was very sunny and I was happy.
So far so good: Santiago was a good transition for us to acclimatize and nothing bad had happened, other than eating super oily chorillanas. (Please do your arteries a favor and minimize consumption of that.) That pretty much sums up the first part of Chile in our 11-week adventure. Next, we head on to the nature and wilderness and away from urbanites.
x

See you later, San Francisco

I had an impromptu final aerial class today. And then I realized, this is it. This is what saying goodbye is. Everything I love and hate about living here is coming to an end. It’s my last week living in San Francisco.

I’m glad to be leaving the summer flies, my matchbox apartment, the completely erratic public transport system and the even more erratic weather.

But as I write this I look out of the window of the bus and I see a dense and thick fog rolling just under Sutro Tower. The majesty of that fog as it creates a new horizon is indelible. I’m not going to see that fog in a long long time. There are so many things I will miss: the creative and crazy people here, the fresh and delicious produce, the beautiful architecture, the random parks around the city, the colors of the city, the diversity and everything charming about San Francisco. (Not to mention those amazingly fresh oysters!) 

On one hand this is the longest and furthest I have been away from home, and I can’t wait to go back and on the other hand I think I’ve fallen in love with this city and it’s hard to leave.

My last class w Lauralynn :(

My last class w Lauralynn

My awesome instructor Lauralynn has pink hair and an amazing smile. I really will miss taking her classes. She’s super encouraging and manages to make me smile even though every time I am on the silks, pole or trapeze I am dying and my muscles are begging me to let go. She’s amazing.

For now I will try to soak all of it in until I leave on Saturday for the airport. 

x

 

The Six-Pack Challenge

Working on that.

I have completely no idea how this challenge came to be. We were probably Skyping and a casual comment was made and the competitive being in E just jumped at the challenge. There we have, the  Six-Pack Challenge. If you were expecting it to be something to do with craft beer, it isn’t. We are challenging each other to get 6 lumps on our torsos. 

Rules of the Challenge:

Before we agreed to enter the challenge, we had to draw the lines clearly: the definition of a six-pack is an active six-pack. This means that the six-pack only has to show was the abs are engaged. Because the thought of having a thoroughly defined six-pack without actively engaging my core is kinda terrifying. Maybe this is just my imagination? Other than that, no rules and whoever gets a six-pack first wins. Loser gives a massage (I mean duh, I worked hard to get that six-pack right?!) and cooks a meal for the winner me. Ha. Because I am going to win this guys. I am going to get that massage. I know that because E just told me he ate a cookie for breakfast. Ha!

Okay, I have to admit, I totally ate a ton of chocolate this past week. What? I had cravings, it’s legit. I’m don’t deal well with deprivation. Even though sometimes stopping at one bar of chocolate can feel like I am depriving myself. Especially when there’s See’s Candies near where I work. It’s See’s Candies, people. How can I not partake in that delicious slice of heaven?! Plus it’s my second-to-last week in California, so I have to eat what I can. If I could, I would buy every single 1-pound pack they had and gobble them up. SO GOOD.

Remember the John Legend song All of Me? He said ‘even when I’m losing, I’m winning’. That’s going to be E’s mantra after he loses to me. Aww yeah. Wish me luck! (All the barre and aerial classes won’t be for nothing!)

We challenge you! 6-pack challenge let’s go!

x

The Mission, Packing and Ambivalence

Don't you just love the architecture?

Don’t you just love the architecture?

It’s my 2nd last full weekend in San Francisco!

It’s my 2nd last Sunday in San Francisco.

I really am confused as to how to feel about this. The homesick part of me wants to just go back home to a house bigger than a matchbox, a diverse array of hawker food and just seeing everyone I know and being able to talk to them and see them. I said see twice because physically seeing someone is really different from a virtual presence.

Like every weekend, I head to the Mission. It’s one of my favorite places in SF because it is so lively, colorful and inspiring. The essence of San Francisco can be captured in the Mission: diversity, art, architecture, entrepreneurial spirit and warmth. Also, food. I really fall in love with the city more with every weekend.

I go there every weekend because they have fresh and cheap grocery there. My favorite grocer is there: he has good prices and sweet golden apples. I don’t think I’ll be able to eat normal red apples after this. Golden apples are to regular apples what the Macbook Air is to other laptops. Once you have it, you won’t go back to regular old apples.

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Preach it, bruh.

The Mission is home to Clarion Alley, a community mural project. And I think it’s pretty damn fantastic. It isn’t as if San Francisco wasn’t colorful enough, but this alley just makes everything more rainbow-like. It isn’t a very large mural project, but the art on the walls are all symbolic and expressive.

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How amazing is this?! I wish I could paint like that. I was pretty caught up in the alley, looking at all the art.

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Sigh everything I will miss about SF is in the Mission. Other than Dolores Park. I should probably go again next weekend when the weather is better than the gloom status it is at now. So the main purpose I was at the Mission was to window shop. I say window because I know that I have close to no space in my luggage bags. Inhale and exhale ohmmmm. I want to buy everything in the shops here. A bicycle, a couch, a tea set, a silk-screened masterpiece and a pastel dresser. I ended up just buying fruits and some honey. The shops in the Mission are not crazy expensive like in Hayes. They are more accessible and makes me feel like actual people can afford stuff there. In Hayes, it’s just boutique after boutique after brunch place. That’s where I live. A poor student in the lunch ladies’ ‘hood.

Also, so many people make and sell art here. It’s amazing. I love imagining myself buying the art and hanging them on my imaginary walls, while drinking from my imaginary tea china and cleaning my imaginary pastel bike.

So I spent a lot of time window shopping, and when I did buy anything, they were like small items. (Kill me, I totally understand how small items add up and make my life miserable) I didn’t learn my lesson the previous time I had to move from Berkeley to San Francisco. Obviously.

I managed to squeeze (by a miracle) my sewing machine into my adventure backpack and cushion it with clothing. Now I am really hoping that the backpack doesn’t burst. Fortunately, I trust the quality of the backpack, it’s been with me through many miles of walking, 4WDs, night buses, cold, snow. (Reminder to self: need to blog about the great South American trip)

For now, the weather is telling me either to eat or sleep. Oink

xxx

 

Moraga Steps | Grandview Park

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Every day I am in the city I fall in love a little bit more. Even though I was kinda caught up with peanut butter yesterday (news: I finished the jar today, dilemma over whether I should buy another jar sets in) and snacked on 4 slices of peanut butter bread today alone, today I headed out to the Inner Sunset district after barre class to see the Moraga staircase or 16th Avenue Tiled Steps.

This reminds me, one year ago, I was at the Escadaria Selarón in Rio de Janeiro. How apt that one year later I’d be here at the steps inspired by the exact same place. Of course, the one is Rio is more majestic and in a much greater scale than the Moraga stairs. But I really appreciated how understated it was. Like it was a frame or an underscore to Grandview Park.

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Grand view indeed.

I convinced myself that the mini hike to the foot of the steps was already worth 2 slices of bread with peanut butter. And climbing up the stairs was worth another 2. Therefore, my peanut butter snacks are completely justified. I am good at math like that.

The stairs are so delicately pretty. I was hesitant about going on a gloomy day, but since I was out of the house, I went ahead anyway. I was also hoping that the gloom would mean that I wouldn’t have to hustle with many people on the steps. True enough, there wasn’t a hustle, but there was a healthy crowd there. I like that people add life and activity to the steps.

I couldn’t decide which flight of stairs was my favorite of the lot. It was a tie between the blue one and the moon one.

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I could be biased because I love blue. It is my secret favorite color. (That’s Su language and it means that it is subconsciously my favorite color and I only noticed it after analyzing my wardrobe and concluded that most of my clothes are in fact, a certain shade of blue.) But don’t you love the birds on the stairs? I’m always mesmerized by mosaic. One of the flights has tiny mirrors tiles that reflect little bits of what’s behind me – the city and the Pacific Ocean.

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And the next photo I just chanced upon while walking in the estate. I just love the layers of green in the frame. I wonder if the owner of the van bought it to match his house.

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Green on green on green

 

That’s a slice of San Francisco for today!

x x x

A Love Letter to Peanut Butter

Dearest Peanut Butter,

After Kaya was gone, all I thought about was you. I love how your creamy richness fills my tastebuds with sweet satisfaction. I find myself having constant cravings for you even though I’m full from dinner. I should have never cheated on you for dinner. What is dinner compared to the creamy delight that you are? Sometimes I like you creamy and sometimes I like you crunchy, all versions of you are just as amazing and wholesome. I know how people complain about your fat content, I want you to know that that does not matter a single bit to me. I love you that your fats keep my tummy satisfied and my brain aware that I have eaten more than I should. I love it when you are spread on bread alone, or with jam. I love you more than Nutella, because Nutella is just fake chocolate pretending to replace actual chocolate. I love that you are unpretentious and unassuming and that everyone can eat you (except people with peanut allergies, I feel so sorry for you). 

Please never change or run out. You are the best spread in my kitchen now.

Lots of love,

Su

East Bay: Alameda Point Antiques Faire

wpid-cymera_20140706_164315.jpg Quick post:My family will know this: I am a (mild?) hoarder. It’s not like I love clutter or containers and cardboard boxes, but you’ll never know when they’ll be handy. Maybe I watched too much Art Attack as a kid, so I think cardboard is awesome and should not be thrown away. Ever. I also love digging for treasure and antiques. wpid-cymera_20140706_151400.jpg Behold, the famous Alameda Point Antiques Faire. I was too busy looking at stuff to take more photos, but I’ll just lay out the scale: there were 800 stores. wpid-cymera_20140706_170209.jpg The furniture on sale here are just too awesome, it made me wish I was actually staying in San Francisco for good, so I can buy all the beautiful armoires and chests and china. I was so tempted to buy a tea set. But a sense of practicality told me that it would be impossible to transport all that back. (sad face) wpid-cymera_20140706_164214.jpg This fair is organized once a month and they claim that everything in there is at least 20 years old. I believe maybe 80% of it, there are definitely newer, ‘vintage-looking’ goods there too. The sheer size of it was kinda overwhelming, I don’t think I covered enough in a day and my feet were so tired after a couple of hours. Plus the sun was crazy! My tan lines are going to be sticking around for a bit. wpid-cymera_20140706_172129.jpg I was just floored by the quality of goods there. The cupboards, boudoirs, mirrors, daybeds, lamps and couches seemed like they were in really good condition. I saw people literally CARTING furniture away and some people even drove trucks in to transport their purchases home. I found myself ogling at some dressing tables and cupboards and suitcases and typewriters and lamps and tea sets and almost everything, thinking I need that in my life, I need that. wpid-cymera_20140706_172241.jpg I don’t think I’ll find anything like that in the motherland. But if you do know if there are amazing fairs and markets like these in Singapore please hit me up because I would love love love to just (window?) shop there. Maybe that’s why I have a certain affinity to Ariel in The Little Mermaid. I see it now. Revelation of the weekend.

<3 Su

Baseball Cap Makeover!

Happy 4th of July! It’s definitely a good day for me. Who doesn’t love a long weekend! I am so stoked for the fireworks later and totally gna wear red white and blue. I wanted to go for barre this morning, but told myself to take a tiny break. Instead, I ended up making half-boiled eggs (YUM) w my roommate Xiuhan and eating kaya toast. Yes. Hugh Jackman, I have kaya too.

So I decided today was a perfect day for some morning crafting and I started gathering materials and began glueing and this is basically it:

It is inspired by the snapback I saw on the F21 website, but I prefer curved bills, so I made my own, plus it didn’t make sense to just order that online.

Weekend crafting done.

<3 Su.

How to Win in a Long Distance Relationship

If you haven’t read the primer of this guide click here.

It’s been a week since I wrote that, and this super long article has been a long way in the making. To wrap this LDR stage up (it’s just 5 weeks now everyone), I have gathered insights from my fellow friends in long-distance relationships to come up with guide on winning the LDR. Fear no distance my friends. The below guide is a collection of experience from 3 couples and so, I hope it will be useful for couples who are in or will be in ldrs. (I feel you!)

The Completely Clueless Couple’s Guide to Winning an LDR

(Special thanks to my collaborators Iris and May)

Before you part:

1. 3 words: Let It Go.

Just accept the fact that you have to get through this together. Suck it up. There isn’t any other way out. Embrace it young padawan.
Points of optimism: It does wonders for self-discovery and opens your eyes. Maybe it’s unique to us, but I think the distance gave us enough time and space to step back and appreciate the relationship even more. We also get a lot of time to think of what to do when we are back together, so every moment together is extra precious. Chant this: extended honeymoon period. Chant.

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‘we’ were at the Glacier Grey in Torres Del Paine National Park in Chile.

2. Take photos. Of everyone. Bonus if they are printed or on instant film. Everyone knows the frequency of looking at digital photos < physical prints. And you get to take photos with ‘them’. (If you’ve watched Amelie, you know what it looks like! The garden gnome travels the world.)

3. Serious stuff: sort out trust issues. Actually, sort out all issues. The last thing you want is to have unresolved doubt muddying the relationship. Besides, having a virtual fight over text or Skype is almost always either a) ineffective or b) awkward. No one likes that.

4. Check your expectations
Your expectations of LDR need to be realistic. It’s not going to be rainbows and donuts. In fact  it’s more like bitter gourd and celery (ack) you’ll be wondering what you did to deserve to feel all the loneliness more often than you’d like. Big sigh. That is what you call ‘missing someone’. It’s so sad to have to imagine that your bunny was there next to you. I think I may have developed some sort of delusional condition through this. There’ll be sacrifices made – a necessary part of any LDR, and let’s not forget, you aren’t immune to disagreements and friction between the two of you either. It isn’t gna be easy, but knowing this fact before getting into an ldr will make you better prepared for any kind of shit that may happen. And shit always happens, friends. (Fact of life #1)

Bonus: Leave something behind with them. When E went to San Diego for school, he left 147 sweets (1 for each day) and a countdown calendar. It was a disaster because I wouldn’t stop at one sweet per day. Bad bad bad. Hahaha but we get points for trying don’t we? Countdown calendars are like the staple in our parting package now. (Caution: counting down does get depressing initially, but since that depressing part is over for me, hurray for countdowns!)

While apart, do:

1. Communicate, communicate, communicate.

I'm communicating with our bear Socks.

I’m communicating with our bear Socks.

I can’t emphasize this enough. Communication is the stem of every relationship, whether romantic or no. E and I use this really amazing app Couple. It’s a dedicated app for couples to text each other. Okay now that I typed it out, it sounds really cheesy, but I swear it’s super cute and fun. They should totally make us their ambassadors, come on. We introduce this to everyone. We use it instead of Whatsapp because there are some cool features in there like drawing boards, cute stickers, and all the usual photo and video sharing functions. There is also a list maker which is super useful. We have a whole list of lists now. That’s me, the list maker. And no one else texts you through that, it’s like a platform just for you two. (Thank me later)

Communication is really integral to any relationship, much less one with a whole lot of distance between you (cue the Rihanna song about the King bed and being 10 000 miles apart), let them know you’re thinking about them by updating them. Also, a lot of the time, someone isn’t going to have internet access – whether hiking in the wilderness, or just out and about without a data plan. That sucks. Haha, but we try to fill in these gaps by making those notes on our phones and sending them to each other when the wifi is available. I remember when I was in Shanghai without Facebook, E had to dig up (the now defunct) MSN Messenger so we could communicate. Maybe we were one of its last users. It was like reliving my high school days. And that time I was hiking in the wilderness for 5 days, I had notes so long that I had to email my essays to him. Maybe it’s just because I’m long-winded……..

Also, try to include details in your conversations. What may seem trivial to you means a whole other thing for someone miles away. Remember, they haven’t seen or eaten that yummy meal with you, so they’ll be glad to know what your experience was like. No one else is gna tell them what your day was like, don’t spare the details. Updating each other is key, because otherwise it’s easy to slip out of touch with each others’ lives. These few weeks have been really tough for E and I because we both have work schedules so the only real quality conversation time we have is during our weekend Skype sessions and we spill all the details there. I love Skype.

2. Put in some effort, make time for each other

 Man, an ldr is still a relationship, it’s the 3rd word of the acronym. Just because you’re apart doesn’t mean you can ignore it. It isn’t a break from the relationship, it’s the same relationship, with added distance and effort. I’m not gna lie, it’ll take real work because time difference is a pain. So, manage your time well  and once you get into the routine (be it weekend Skyping or early morning calls), it’ll be a breeze (just kidding, it’s anything but a breeze, but it will be easier!)

3. Celebrate stuff together!
His/her birthday is coming up soon but you guys are 239847 miles apart? No excuses. Plan something for him/her, with the help of mutual friends if you need, to let him/her know that you are dedicated to making it work. As mentioned, put in effort. It can be something as simple as getting flowers or sending snail mail.

4. Have a common activity

(GoT Season 4 SPOILER ALERT AHEAD, proceed with caution)

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We watch GoT together and E likes to take screenshots when I am at my most glamorous like me almost crying.

E is a huge fan of this. We make time to do stuff together, uhm, virtually. Most commonly, we watch shows together: Game of Thrones (ugh so sad that it’s over), Suits, White Collar, Sherlock, etc. We literally sync our videos so we press play together and pause together, so we can get each others’ reactions. I have to wait for 1 week to watch GoT with E because we’re working on the weekdays. No TV cheating. Never TV cheat. Rules of dating. This creates something physically common to the both of you, isn’t it a stroke of genius? (Why, thank you!)

5. Keep yourself occupied
Impatient people: keep yourself busy. Time flies when you’re having fun, like in barre class or sewing/designing or when you’re traveling and being an explorer! It’ll be over before you know it. E likes to play basketball a whole lot. So while we are apart, we are also developing our own interests. It’s a win-win situation really. Just make sure you don’t neglect your ldr. Never neglect it.

6. Send flowers, send cards, send food, send yourself – whatever.

I love receiving mail, and people and who doesn’t? Come on. Just do it, thank me later. (Okay, don’t go overboard, the postal service can be money-eating over time, everything in moderation. You’re welcome.) There’s something romantic about tearing an envelope and seeing your bunny’s handwriting (even if their penmanship is the creative equivalent of grass), add points for an attached photograph so that the other party can admire your beautiful face when they display it on the wall next to their beds. Remember in The Notebook when Ryan Gosling’s character wrote one letter to Rachel McAdam’s character for 1 year? Yeah. That’s why girls like letters. I just solved one of life mysteries for you. 

7. Good mornings and goodnights.
Daily greetings are awesome pick-me-ups. Like when I’m working in the middle of the day and I receive a good morning text from E. It lights my heart up. Just let your SO know that you think of him/her first thing in the morning and the last thing before you sleep. This routine habit also makes you both a constant in each others’ lives, and it doesnt take up too much time either. It’s a positive mood boost and a good end to a day. It’s a cliche for a reason. It’s like reminding them that you exist. Just in case. If you miss a good morning or good night, you have only yourself to blame if they forget that you existed. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

8. Be patient

I hate to say this because I really like to think of it as a process rather than something you want to get over. It’s true – there are so many things to explore in an ldr. But sometimes, the fact that the ldr is finite (nod to my engineering brain), you’ll feel ultra restless and impatient for reunion day to come. May quoted “anything worth having is definitely worth waiting for”. That pretty much sums it up. It’s a waiting game sometimes, but don’t forget to live while waiting. The best way to do it is to think of it as a process or a long train ride. It’s the best if you guys have a specific timeframe for your ldr, is it 1 year, half a year, 2 years? Minimizing uncertainty and giving you a fixed date to look forward to helps, because uncertainty scares people.

Bonus tip: Sometimes when you need encouragement, you can look for quotes like in #8 and keep yourself going (I haven’t really thought about that but May says it is encouraging and inspiring, so do it).

Don’t:

1. Forget to reply the other party/ Ignore texts
Nobody likes to be left hanging waiting for a reply. Sometimes it’s hard to reply immediately, because I just told you to live your life anyway, but at least update your bunny if you’re occupied or out or with friends. Keeping each other updated is pretty easy and you minimize a lot of frustration. It makes things a whole lot better because then he/she won’t be expecting an answer from you in a while. However, that being said…

2. Expect quick replies all the time
This is tricky. Because you want to talk to them… it’s not going to happen as often as you like because they have other things to do than keep checking their phones anyway. So you just have to suck it up and work out a suitable arrangement for your communication. Keep your expectations in check, no one is going to be so available and unoccupied to be texting you constantly. If all else fails, read #5 from the ‘do’ list.

 

3. Don’t send your ‘away’ lover photos of local delicacy.

I. Will. Gut. You. Just kidding. But if you dare.

I get that you just wna show them your food… Maybe because I’m Singaporean and I love food. One photo of that char kway teow makes me spiral into endless homesickness. No, I am not missing you anymore, I am missing food.

4. Lose trust
Being physically apart sometimes makes you doubt the other party. But as I said, Let it Go, because being possessive and doubtful saved no one’s relationship, ever. “Who’s that girl you’re with on Facebook?!” only builds unwanted tension. Everyone needs space, so give them a berth. On your part, don’t put yourself in situations you don’t wna catch your SO in either.

So there you have it, I’m pretty sure I haven’t exhausted all the Dos and Don’ts here but, I probably exhausted your eyes by writing such a long listicle. It was fun gathering ideas from my fellow friends in long ldrs and to see what helps them get by. So now you are armed with the ammunition to fight the distance and I really hope you find it useful.

I personally appreciate everything the ldr brings to the relationship: we live apart, but we’re never alone, and we have an extended honeymoon, and we have so much space Canada will be jealous. For me, I found it useful we learnt to live apart as a couple before we grew too reliant on each other.  I can say that now that I am only 1 month away from returning home. (it’s very bittersweet) YAY. Positive thoughts.

Good luck.

<3 Su.