Finally blogging a very long overdue entry. I have been meaning to blog for a while now. Blog entries that I have been putting off includes my brunch at Noryangjin Fish Market, a 2 days 1 night trip to Sokcho, my feelings about being back in Singapore, as well as the things I have been up to since I’ve been back. However I have been procrastinating.
Presently, I’ve been back in Singapore for almost one month. I’ve slightly more than a month left before I fly back to Seoul to resume the next semester of my studies.
Things I’ve discovered since I’ve been back:
Body works better in cooler climate
For the first time ever, I found myself to be in a position where I had to acclimatize to the Singapore climate. I’m not sure whether it’s the air here or whether it is something else but as soon as I landed in Changi Airport, I found myself short of breath and reaching out for my inhaler. I’ve been using the inhaler more times in the past 3 weeks that I’ve been back in Singapore than the past 4 months in Seoul combined. I hardly used it there.
Not only that, I have been breaking out in hives EVERY SINGLE DAY! I did not have that back in Seoul. Currently, I have hives on my left legs, right shoulders, behind my ears and fingers as I’m blogging this.
Honestly, it’s getting pretty annoying to be scratching and reaching out for my inhaler almost everyday. I had forgotten how annoying it could be during those times I was away from Singapore. In Seoul, these symptoms somehow disappeared. I’m praying so much that my body gets used to the physical conditions here soon. I really, really, really dislike being in a position whereby the body doesn’t seem to be in a state of balance.
Physical activities significantly reduced in Singapore
Perhaps it’s due to the existence of a plethora of amenities as well as a family car but I found that the time I spent travelling by foot seemed to reduce vastly here. I could clock in between 7000 – 10000 steps on a typical day in Seoul but over here, I saw that it’s difficult to even reach 6000 steps even after a whole day of being out! What happened?
I seem to engage in lesser exercise or heart rate stimulating activities here too. I’m feeling pretty sluggish at the moment from the lack of physical activities.
Surviving on little
I’m currently neither receiving any salary nor have any savings to fall back on. However masyaAllah, I’m very surprised that I could still do quite a lot in order to lead a meaningful existence.
Previously, one of my past times would be to spend a lot on online shopping. It gave me a tremendous thrill to track my packages across the various courier services’ tracking sites and to eventually receive the items I had bought. I could even have online shopping packages arriving almost every day and the number of deliveries would typically accelerate the more work and deadlines I had.
My ultimate vices: clothes and books. My wardrobe and shelves would always be bursting with things and I remember having to frequently clear out my clothes and books by sending them for recycling so that I could make room for more online purchases.
Another past time would be to eat out after work and to travel. In the latter, weekend getaways as well as making extended and multiple trips during the holidays are common for me.
Oh not to mention, the multiple cab rides I tend to take on my way back from work. My justification for the cab rides was that the weather was simply too hot and I needed to get back home asap to escape the heat.
All these translate into high levels of expenditures.
However with the current financial situation, I’m learning to let go of a lot. Getting around strictly by buses/trains. Minimal eating out unless I’m truly hungry or craving for something. No outbound travel unless I have the funds. Strictly only window shopping and no frivolous purchases. It was difficult at first but after a year of being on unpaid leave, alhamdulillah it is getting easier for me.
I’d be lying if I were to say that I have no desire to shop, travel, take cabs, and eat out at the various cafes/restaurants in Singapore.
For instance when it comes to shopping… Oh, there are soooooo many clothes and scarves that have caught my eyes but I’ve been telling myself to stick to the current ones I have. Truthfully, I’m not used to wearing the same things so often since I frequently buy new clothes and scarves but yes, I found that things aren’t so bad.
At the end of the day, I realized that God is opening ample opportunities for me to engage in a practical application of one of the beliefs I’ve held for a long while: happiness and contentment doesn’t reside in the material.
It’s one thing to say those words when you have everything in life. That’s what I learned. All along, I have been saying those words but it was from a position of having them. It borders on being so hypocritical to be spouting those words when I owned so many things and always spending. Now that I’m on the other side of the fence, I’m made to realize what it truly means to seek happiness and contentment from the immaterial.
These days, my happiness and contentment are derived from simple things I never expected I’d glean such as:
- To be able to sleep and be safe from harm.
- To still have food to eat… Sometimes, too much food even though I lack the money to buy them. Yet masyaAllah and alhamdulillah, there is always something for me to eat everyday. This makes me realize that God feeds you. He really takes care of you.
- Being in the presence of, and communicating with people you love and care about
Allright, entry’s long enough as it is. Hoping I’ll blog more soon and that the next entry will be one filled with photos instead of just words!