OK! Super image intensive post ahead!!!

Erm… yes, the veggies in Beijing are really super duper yummy, don’t ask me why. I’m never the veggie person, I would avoid veggie at all costs. When we had our first proper meal in Beijing and I had a look at the menu, there were so many varieties of veggies, some I’ve never even heard of in my life. So I thought, forget it, we’ll just try one dish of veggie and turned out it was sooooooooo yummy!!!! How yummy?? Ok, I find the food in Beijing a little oily for my liking but I guess that’s their way of cooking. Minus the oily part, the veggie was super crunchy, super sweet (not like it’s artificially sweetened, I hope), color was vibrant (please don’t say things like they’re soaked in coloring). With every mouth you bite, you just cannot stop helping yourself to another serving. You’re literally part of the percussion team in the band playing a new breed of percussion instrument!! I thought maybe I was too hungry, but subsequent meals at different places and different veggies made me feel the same. So I concluded that veggies are my favourite food to eat in Beijing. Hahahahaha! Before I arrived in Beijing, I thought the Peking duck will blow me away and become my top favourite food but Veggie took the spot. Am sooooo gonna go back and eat veggies next time if I have the chance. Hahahaha!

Ok, so yup, today I’m going to share with you some highlights of our Beijing trip! We haven’t had a trip together (just the two of us) in years. The last one we had was to Sydney in Year 2009 when the two of us monkey flew there to attend Ryan Schembri’s photography workshop. Photographer also need to learn from other photographers one mah… Must constantly expose yourself to the world outside, because the world is soooooo big, there are so many crouching tiger hidden dragons around! Some are super low profile so it’s hard to sniff them out, but any learning opportunity is an opportunity. Especially when the pros are open to share, it’s a healthy environment for all of us to learn and grow together. Miss the Sydney days… Sigh…

Just this Tuesday, we attended Jesh De Rox’s Moment Design workshop in Singapore. Was quite a thought provoking session, and I’m marvelled by how people are touched so easily. I think I’m like a piece of woodblock, buried under layers of steel and concrete. You can read and learn from as many pros as you want, but ultimately, if you don’t help yourself, you’re just going to waste your time. So Jesh was asking the participants, how many of us have like 500/1000/>1000 photos in our computer that we’ve never seen/touched for years. Actually, every now and then I’ll open up my hard drive and click through all the folders to look at the photos… Hahaha! I love looking at photos because I love the power and magic it possess. It’s like space shuttle that can bring you back in time to relive all the moment! Although maybe some people in the photo might not be around anymore, maybe the place has demolished etc, but what you’ve felt before was real and can never be erased.

My boss ask me why I take a lot of time whenever I blog… Because I tend to float away from the main topic and digress…. and end up being very lor sor… Hehehe…

Ok! Beijing!!

I’m fascinated by history, language, culture, basically the arty/humanity side of life. When we reached the airport, we had to find a taxi. In Singapore, Taxis are called “de2 shi4” in Chinese, but in Beijing, it’s called “chu1 zu1 che1”. And don’t take it for granted that they know the road names well, because the taxi driver that we were on doesn’t know the road name to our hotel. He doesn’t even know our hotel existed. Hahaha! End up we had to rely on Google Maps to guide the driver, else it’ll be like a duck talking to an apple.

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Here’s us, finally reached our hotel! It was super cold cos we went in December, and we were both tired plus hungry! So we went out to find some food. Since we’re staying in the middle of the “Orchard Road”, there were lots of shopping centre so food wasn’t a problem.

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Random snap snap while waiting at the traffic light. Raymond didn’t bring his Canon camera to Beijing, so I brought my Olympus (pok chui and jiao pok) with me along with my favourite Kern lens and the Olympus kit lens. But my kern died towards the end of the trip. Thankfully Chee Yong managed to help me fix it when we got back to Singapore. (:

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Waiting for foooooood. I didn’t try veggie then, cos the restaurant was selling more of xiao long bao…

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Raymond likes the xiao long bao they made, but I prefer this crispy bao thing instead.

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Wahahaha!! I was quite amused when I saw the label.

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Super soft, light and fluffy cheesecake! Light in texture, light in flavor I cannot even taste the cheese, seriously. It’s almost like eating foam!

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It’s called Mei Ya’s Cheesecake. You know who is Mei Ya? She’s La Bi Xiao Xin’s mum!

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Went out to walk walk…. It was misty!!! Every breath you exhale, you’ll see smoke coming out.

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Visited the Dong Hua Men Night Market which is like 5 mins away from where we’re staying. Here’s my favourite snack in Beijing! Now I have a favourite food (veggie) and favourite snack! This is the candied haw, or the “bing1 tang2 hu2 lu”. I loooooove the strawberry ones! It’s so huge and juicy! The strawberries are sour, the caramel candy is sweet, so when the two combined together, it mellows out each other’s flaw and becomes perfect. I kept eating this when we were there in Beijing. So wish can bring back some but I think it’ll melt under Singapore’s hot weather. -.-”

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If you’re adventurous, you can try exotic snacks like this fried Starfish. They also have fried wormies, bugs and weird stuffs. I didn’t have the balls to try them. Hahaha! Sorry!!

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Concluding our night, it’s time to head back and rest! We have a full day ahead tomorrow!

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Woke up super early and was greeted by such a beautiful sight! We rarely even see something like this in Singapore.

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Today we’re exploring the Forbidden City!! And since our hotel is pretty much in the middle of the attractions, we decided to walk there instead. One thing bad about Beijing I would say is the traffic. It’s so bad that a 10 minutes journey can take you hours, by car.

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Anyway, caught dog dog sniffing around and marking territory! The weather was soooo cold even dog dog had to put on some clothes!

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Loving the sun!

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Streets were still pretty quiet.

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Almost reaching the forbidden city entrance!

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The water was frozen!!! First time in my life I seen something like that. So swa gu!

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The whiskers of the trees all knotted up… probably a mischief deed by the wind. Oh the vignette at the corner are not edited…. it’s just an early sign of my Kern giving way… So those with vignette at the corner are taken using the Kern, those with no vignette are the kit lens. I like using both… I like the manual focus of the Kern, and sometimes when I’m lazy, I use the kit lens. Hahaha! Focus damn fast mah, and can zoom in zoom out sumore.

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Yes yes must buy tickets to enter!

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Some random sight.

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Hello Forbidden City, or they call it the Palace Museum. I’m finally here!!!

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They have like audio guides in some languages for tourists to rent, but we did our own walking and touring and reading.

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Must take selfie! Oh… my spectacle lens are the Crizal Transition ones, so it’ll automatically adjust its brightness. And during this trip, there’s one thing I noticed about the Crizal lens… once the lens is dark, and the temperature outside gets too cold, it’s hard for the lens to revert to the clear brightness. -_____-“.

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Some insides of the halls. Some halls are huuuuge but got moldy smell one. Cos it’s hard for the sun to reach the inside.

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Architecture so fascinating.

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The palace is soooooooooooooooooooooo huge I cannot imagine walking from hall to hall…. No wonder the people then are not bui bui like us nowadays… and no wonder they don’t need to go gym…. IPPT sure pass with Gold. Hahahahaha!

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Just some shadows of the window sills casted by the sunlight.

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I like photos like this… besides the crazy ones… Hehehe… I’m extreme…

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Some parts of the building are collapsing, some decaying etc, so constantly there’ll be people doing repairing work.

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Super neat handwriting! Don’t know must practice how many times.

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Ah Di, what are you looking at?

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Frozen water!!

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And the frozen lake, and a dead belly upside fish in the frozen water. So sad.

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Went to the Imperial Garden, but cos it’s Winter, so got no flowers… only some buds.

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Hello sunlight.

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The amazing tree trunk attempting a banana split! Aiya, should put a bowl on the floor or something… then people can toss coins inside for the tree’s banana split performance.

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More sunlight and shadow. I don’t usually like the sun, especially in Singapore, but when overseas, it’s totally different.

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Poor kitty, got no water to drink cos the water in the bowl was frozen too.

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I cannot remember if this was the next day or still the same day.

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I needed to pee, and the only toilet they had was this. Make do lor.

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Walk walk.

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Mr Raymond hungry again… bought some explosive cheesy chicken which was explosive but not cheesy enough.

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Ji1 Pa2 or Ji1 Pai2?

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Bought some pastries to try, and some to keep for next day when we climbed the Great Wall of China. But at the end of the day, they got smashed in the bag and became crumbly powder.

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La Bi Xiao Xin’s shop!

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So rude!

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Very skillful cotton candy artisan.

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I didn’t know I was in Hong Kong.

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In the Taxi on the way to somewhere…

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Ah ha!!

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We were on our way to “tian1 tan2” – Temple of Heaven.

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Selfie first

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Nice not?

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Crawled to Hong Qiao Night Market after that…. Bought our first selfie stick there… Hahaha!

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And then we went to eat yummy dinner!!!!!!!

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This fried prawn thing was so delish…

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This caramelised tomato was super juicy. I don’t eat tomato but this was DA BOMB! Inside the tomato there were some crunchy bits which looked like fried bacon or something… couldn’t quite figure it out. But it was yummy anyway.

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Peking duck. By the way the menu was super duper thick… I’ve never seen such a thick menu in my life before…. It’s MUCH thicker than the Rangefinder magazine… Definitely more than 2 iPhone 6 thickness combined…

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The first veggie dish I had in Beijing. So blown away……. Er white balance don’t look good cos I didn’t bother to adjust. The lighting at the place was super duper cool, blue/purple lights here and there, and some yellow lights I want to faint.

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Ok next day liao. Before Great Wall of China, we went to visit the tombs, and some jade factory and silk factory. Didn’t buy anything though cos we kia si… Hahaha!

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In the bus, need to travel don’t know how many hours to get to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall. Badaling is the more common one, which we didn’t want to go.

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There’s shops up there…

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Who is who?

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Sun tan?

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I thought I was almost going to be a Hero until they say we have to take this cable car up…………….. OMG……………. Not a good news at all for someone who is acrophobic……

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So I didn’t manage to snap any photos and Raymond took over the camera from me….. took pictures of my scaredy face, and my hands. I think if the camera got X-Ray function, you’ll be able to see my fingers digging deep into the metal and causing dents liao….

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It’s physically demanding to climb the steps, I’m not kidding. Maybe I weak lah, but I take 10 steps have to rest 10 minutes.

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Steep lor……

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At one point I told Raymond just throw me here and get a helicopter to pick me up….

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We were looking forward to snow, but the snow was late….

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Nice withered plant.

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I asked Raymond to be my model…

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Ok this one can see face.

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Climb back down le loh!!! Buay tahan!

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Way down is by the toboggan……. Which again made me horrified!!!! Cos the slope looked steep!!! So Raymond was happily snapping my scared face again… But turned out this was fun! More fun than the cable car for sure…. -.-”

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No stopping!

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Reach ground already must kiss the floor.

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Hehehe… The sunlight was too good not to secretly snap a photo of the lovebirds infront of us.

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Bye bye, see you next time!

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I don’t know why the sunlight there so sexy one. We were in the bus already, super tired from long day, but I just cannot help it but to keep snapping pics of the sun!!!

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It’s so pweeeeety I’m like wearing a pweety skirt and swinging my hips side to side daintily….

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Ok dinner time! Raymond said this beer is not bad.

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Every meal must order veggie!! SO GOOD!

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Best peking duck also pale in comparison to the veggie. :p

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Here’s some super thick broth of scallop, abalone and fish maw. Collagen overload.

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Some night scene..

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More frozen lake. Ok don’t want to talk so much liao cos still got a lot of pics to share!!

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I hope they won’t demolish the old buildings…..

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Er… uncle ah, I trying to take picture…

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Uncle rode past already.

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I look like a ba zhang cos I wore super lots of layer…. Pants I had like 3 layers on… and socks 2 layers….

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One of Mr Raymond Phang.

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Visited this place….

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I really love the architecture lah..

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Anyone still has this pair of old school scissors??

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Oh today we had the whole day to ourselves and today is adventure day… Before we flew to Beijing, I did a bit of homework on places to explore. Hehehe.

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This used to be a Brothel in the olden days… but it’s now converted to a tea house.

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Some of the interior of the houses…

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Love the doors..

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Raymond holding the piece of paper I printed out…

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More modern designs… maybe the younger generation live here.

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Else mostly will be woody like this.

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We see quite a lot of these pasted on the doors… Wonder how’s it like for the people there when they get married.

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So nice to see kids playing stones and marbles instead of iPhone or iPad!!!!

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This is a much more run down part of the place…

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The houses there are really small, and when we spoke to one of the residents there, she shared that one tiny space can live like a few generations of people….

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The waste.

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A lot of cyclist hor? This one must fish one… otherwise nobody walk past, then will have nothing to shoot already.

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Granny thunderpants!!!

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Looking at my paper again.

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Their kitchen is super tiny and super basic.

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Street art

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A lot of spoilt metal…

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Hey little buddy!!

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Uncle caught smoking.

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I heard a sound coming from the top, looked up and saw a cat!

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In the taxi, going to 798 Art District.

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Making of the Jurassic World. :p

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Lots of graffiti around… Ok lah this one not considered but a lot very arty farty ones. You go and see yourself.

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Someone must have broken someone’s heart…

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Ok dinner at Din Tai Fung….. My boss super busy…

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People go Din Tai Fung eat la mian or xiao long bao, I eat veggie. :p

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Next day… Big day for Raymond!!

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Can you spot his name?

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Sick… Tsk tsk tsk…

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Gan jiong, waiting for his turn…

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Hands of a photographer + son + husband + handyman + toilet cleaner + pets groomer + driver all in one.

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We finished a lot of the water.

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Ooooohhhh~ Going to start soon!

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The masters from AsiaWPA!!

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What’s with that faceeeee?

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With Raymond around, sure got laughter one….

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Enthusiastic group of people with the heart to learn.

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Raymond continues to share….

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Hey Tony… I see you see me!

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Wah shit, gan jiong, got people ask question. Muwahahahahaha!

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Ok, slowly, mai gan jiong, listen to the question first.

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Erm… Ok question too difficult to answer, ask for a kiss to scare him away first. Muwahahahaha!

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Ok lah, the session went well, and Raymond did well so didn’t wet his pants. Can go toilet throw away the diapers liao. HAHAHAHAHA! :p

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My arsenal of medication which Janice from China so kindly ran all over the place to buy for me.


Back in Singapore and slowly recovering, tried out our selfie stick.

Alrighty, hope you enjoyed the lengthy lor sor post!


Lots of Sweat and tears,