MI868

At SGD561, China Airlines was the cheapest airline I could find to Osaka (minus coughMHcough or coughVNcough). There is a Taipei transit involved, but the timing was good. I had almost booked us tickets, but the China Airlines website gave me more expensive prices whenever I’m at home and wanting to confirm the flight with my parents o_O;

So NATAS travel fair came around first. We decided to take a look in case we could get even cheaper air tickets. (2017.08.13)

We asked around a few travel agencies, but they either do not sell flight tickets only, or the flights are above SGD600, with prices up till SGD900+. The UOB booth even had service charge. What the heck? We felt sian and ready to give up when Mum suggested we go check out H.I.S. because that was where R worked at before, albeit she worked for the inbound department.

This Japanese guy at the H.I.S. booth handed us leaflets. Oh! They were for package tours to Shikoku! There was one tour which was specifically just for Dogo Onsen in Ehime, with one night in Ehime and the rest in Tokyo. That could work. We could extend our trip. I then realised that the Japanese guy was wearing an Ehime happi. Apparently, he was from Ehime.

“We want to got to Kochi,” we said.

“Ehime!” he insisted with a smile. “Neighbour!”

Anyway we ended up queuing for one of their travel agents to help us, but there weren’t many staff around, and we fooled around, taking a wefie with the H.I.S. signboard to send it to R.

One of the counters became available at last. And we asked for Osaka flight prices. Unfortunately, they were nowhere below SGD600, and we sighed, almost about to head back when I told the travel agent that we actually wanted to get to Kochi, and what might be the best and most budget way to get there.

“Hold on,” he said.

“You can fly SilkAir to Hiroshima,” he said after a while. “Direct flight!”

My eyes lit up. “What’s the price?” I asked. “The most important thing.”

“Get ready for this,” he said. And he flashed his calculator at us.

SGD585. Whoa!

Apparently, SilkAir was just starting their Singapore to Hiroshima flights in November 2017. We were lucky!

SIN→HIJ
01:45-09:30
6hrs 45mins

HIJ→SIN
10:25-15:40
6hrs 15mins

Perfect!

Now we just need to figure out how to get from Hiroshima to Kochi.

2017.08.15: The flight tickets are only SGD518 on SilkAir’s website OTL But we would never have known about this flight if not for the H.I.S. staff.

妹は飛ぶ

2017.07.30日: R was going to take the 8:05 JAL flight to Tokyo. No, not to travel around Japan, but to work. This was the start of her one year (possibly up to five years) of her life as a CIR (Coordinator for International Relations 国際交流員).

Yes, my sister is superseding me in all areas of life. Or so, I thought. Me, I still drift in the sea of nothingness.

I surprisingly found energy in me to clean up our room and her desk. To tell the truth, having the space to myself felt liberating.

It also happened to be L’s birthday. I decided to meet her for lunch at Orchard. We dined at Real Food, talking mostly about her boyfriend, who had just became her ex the previous night. The poor girl. She did get a thoughtful gift from her ex though. The relationship only lasted three months. It mostly stemmed from a lack of communication on her ex’s part, and a lot of misunderstandings. I guess I have to be thankful that S and I are communicating a lot.

I pick the strings of sadness.

I started guitar lessons in March this year. It was one of the reasons my relationship with S started to fray. It was ironic, as S was who got me inspired to pick up guitar in the first place. Now, it brings nothing but pain to S’s face whenever I mention anything to do with guitars or my lessons.

It turns out that, right before I signed up for lessons, she had printed a stack of notes and scores for me. When she found out I was starting guitar classes, she used the notes as scrap paper, and pretended nothing happened. However, it got harder and harder for her to hide her sadness. It pains her so much that R-sensei is taking her place. She was a replaceable entity. She was collapsing inside, berating herself over her incompetence in teaching me.

However, this is what I think I lacked at that time, which hindered me from taking off in playing guitar.
In other words, this is what I think how anyone should start learning guitar.

  1. Have a proper place to learn guitar.
    We were outside on rooftop gardens, where light was poor, music was blasting out from the mall’s speakers, fumes were coming out from food courts nearby, and people were walking around. Not conducive.
  2. Buy or borrow a guitar with low action.
    It’s a no brainer. With the strings nearer to the fretboard, pressing is easier.
    Having a guitar with a tone that you like, and that feels good in your hands help too.
  3. Play songs with easy chord changes, not songs with easy chords per se.
    G5 to C2 is an easy chord change. Am to C is an easy chord change.
    G5   3X0033           Am   X02210
    C2    X3X033          C       X32010
    (Note: I’m not sure if it’s called “G5”, as I learnt the chord as “G” in class. Please correct me if I’m wrong.)
  4. If you are learning from a friend, schedule regular lessons.
    The goal becomes clear. You are to practise and perfect the songs from the previous session before the next lesson rolls around.

You’re welcome.

Meanwhile, let me emo at a corner and play random chord progressions to soothe my sadness.

錯い

When I first met him, his voice was mellow, he felt smooth and perfect in my hands. I became enamoured with him. So after a month, I went back to Music Theme and parted with 400 dollars for him.

20170718_231442b

When I went back home, my Jack & Danny A Solo Cedar CEQ flaws were revealed in the harsh light of my study – a less than perfect sound hole, a fretboard with water marks/stains, only one strap knob and a ding on the top D=
→ I just googled. Apparently having only one strap knob is common for an acoustic o_O

Did I mention that there was dust on top of him too? I guess nobody wanted him.

I felt stupid, and regretted not first asking my sensei to help me check for defects and make recommendations.

Thus his name became 試行錯誤. Or 錯い(さくい) for short.

That said, his sound is good (even though it was brighter than I remembered).
And his neck felt heavy and solid. The matte finish of the whole guitar feels really good too (minus the top, as it is laminated).

I got him companions too – a capo, an instrument cable, and a stand.

I only started learning guitar seriously four months ago. So these are all opinions of a newbie! Keep that in mind!
I don’t see much information on the Jack & Danny (J&D) brand online, so I thought it would be good to post this.

Jack & Danny A Solo Cedar CEQ semi-acoustic guitar with Fishman pickup – SGD400
Musedo capo – SGD15
Silk Road instrument cable – SGD28
A-frame stand – SGD26
Total damage – SGD469

It hurts.

It hurts. It hurts so much when I’m the who hurt her. It hurts when I make her want to hurt herself. It hurts so deep inside that no amount of crying or choking on tears can dissolve the pain. It is almost like I have to reach inside and tear out my heart in order to stop aching. How is one to comfort the hurt when one is the cause of the hurt? Do I have to erase myself?

It is agonising when any words I say fail to reach her, or do reach her but morph into ugly twisted forms, driving the figurative blade that I have unknowingly plunged into her further in. I can only pray that she will not draw a literal blade to cut herself.

There is nothing I can do now but let my actions take over but the wait in itself is agonising.

Edit 2017.07.11: Her smile is my antidote. ♡

I’m back.

After many failed attempts at blogging since Arinstrel, I’m back, and this time, using WordPress. I realise I was too concerned with page views in recent years. I remind myself that if I blog, I’m going to do it for myself. And here I am.