Studying in KGU FAQ #3: International Residence II Dorm Part 2 + Other Accommodation

Hello! Following PART 1 about the KGU Dorm available, I got some questions about it/the area/dorms in general so I’ve compiled it into a Part 2!

READ MORE: All posts about Studying in Japan

1) Is Takarazuka a city or a neighborhood in Nishinomiya? From what I could understand from your post, KGU is quite far from there. Is it the only international dorm available?

Takarazuka is a city. Nishinomiya is also a city. They are both quite near the school, but Nishinomiya is the city that the school’s Uegahara campus is on (aka the campus foreign exchange students will be going to). KGU is about 40minutes from Takarazuka including walking time. The train ride is only about 20minutes or so. When I left, there were two student dorms in Takarazuka (one was torn down and rebuilt sometime this year though, if I remember correctly), a possible apartment in Niigawa (walking distance to the school, you will be sharing the apartment with other students), a non-school run dorm in Kobe (Hyogo International Students Dorm I think but it is much further from
KGU than the Takarazuka dorms). There are also apartments available for rent from the school (International Residence III) but these are subject to availability.

The possible accommodation options will be sent to you by the school, and you are to choose which one you prefer. The available options differ each year, so what I’ve mentioned above may not be the same things offered to you when you apply. Homestay is also an option, but I suppose if you’re reading this post you are probably not choosing to do homestay.

2) Is it typical in Japan to have dorms with bills excluded from the fee?

Yes in Japan the rent and utilities is usually separated. There might be places that have an all in fee, but so far what I’ve encountered and based on personal + friends experiences, it’s separate.

3) In order to commute from the dorm to the KGU, did you need a JR Pass?

I used the Hankyu Line (Hankyu Takarazuka to Hankyu Niigawa or Kotoen) and used a monthly Commuter Pass that can be bought from the station which makes it very cheap and you can have unlimited entry to any stations between your home station and your destination. Eg you can use it to get off at any stop between Hankyu Takarazuka and Hankyu Niigawa. Note that Hankyu Commuter Pass can only be used on Hankyu lines. Exchange students will be briefed on how to buy the Commuter Pass by the school. Subsequently when I needed to buy a new pass, you can do so by filling in a form and purchasing it from the Train Station. Either from the office or a dedicated Commuter Pass counter (like in Hankyu Nishinomiya-Kitaguchi Station).

JR pass is not needed as the train station nearest to KGU is Hankyu line.

Note: The commuter passes are all company specific – eg JR Pass cannot be used on Hankyu lines and Hankyu Pass cannot be used on JR Lines. HOWEVER, Icoca (or Suica etc)/Passmo cards where you top up money and tap in and out of the station CAN be used ACROSS lines, including on the subway (chikatetsu) as well.

4) Did KGU support you in the accommodation finding process? I’ve read that they helped you in looking for dorms, but did they help you with the application and stuff like that or was it all up to you?

The school basically tells you the accommodation options they can provide (and also dorms/places they work with to house their students in. Or you can choose homestay) and you let them know what you want. If successful, you get your first choice. You can also search for alternative accommodation outside of what the school offers but you are on your own for the most part if you choose to do that.

When I had to move out of the dorm (Residence II has a 1 year maximum stay limit), the school told me I could either go to a real estate agent myself and find my own apartment (and provided a brochure + recommended the one near school, but also said it would be best to bring a friend who was fluent/native in Japanese) or they had another place available which I could move into. I eventually chose to move into their International Residence III since it was hassle free (no key money, deposit etc) and I would just pay the bills to the school directly. I also know students who moved out from Residence II into a different student dorm. I am not sure if the school helped with the application, but if you ask the CIEC staff they can point you in the right direction.

5) I read that the curfew is at 23:00, does this mean I cannot enter after that time?

The curfew is there but if you return home after 23:00, the side gate will still be open. There is a code to enter the dorm door so you can still enter after 23:00 but you just have to make sure you are quiet. I’ve gotten back past the curfew time quite a lot (especially if I’m working a late part time shift) and there haven’t been any issues. Unless for some reason they change things this year, but probably not.

6) How about traveling around? Is it fine to stay away from the dormitory if we visit another city for a weekend or for a few weeks in the holidays?

If you will be traveling/away for a few days from the dorm, you have to fill in a form and submit it to the dorm manager. You can get the form from the dorm manager and if I’m not wrong exchange students will need someone from the school (CIEC) to sign off on it. It’s to make sure they know your whereabouts and I’m not too sure if you need to fill it in during the holidays. It’s also really common for exchange students to travel during the holidays so there shouldn’t be any issues about that at all.

 

Finally, do join the KGU Ryugakusei (Exchange Students) Facebook Group to chat with previous exchange students, fellow new exchange students and other full time foreign students! There are part-time job postings once in a while and opportunities to attend events all posted there.

I hope these answers help clarify any doubts or worries you may have when coming to Japan and studying in KGU 🙂

Till the next post,
xoxo
Bernie

Learn Flower Hacks and Basic Floristry at A Better Florist’s Flower Jamming Session

Ello!

Guess what came to surprise me at the office today?????????

It’s the Spring Breeze bouquet from A Better Florist 🙂

A Better Florist Spring Breeze 3

Don’t mind my messy office table, oops. The bouquet is a really pretty mix of pastels and comes in a mason jar so I can easily display it at home without having to scramble around for a jar (which I don’t have oops).

Such a pity that they don’t deliver past 6pm though, cause I had to protect it in the peak hour MRT crowd. But I still managed to get it home okay!

A Better Florist Spring Breeze Bouquet 2

Can you spot the cute pug? :3

Flower bouquets and fresh cut flowers are no longer just luxury purchases or limited to special occasions. They are now slowly being incorporated into interior designs and apartment living.  The good thing is there are lots of online florists in Singapore that makes getting flowers to brighten up your house even easier by catering to all your floral needs. There are also floral subscriptions, where you can get quality and in season flowers at affordable prices. Fresh flowers and succulents can lend a sense of the lush outdoors in our increasingly tech-saturated and artificial environment. Always good to have a nice pop of colour in our rooms!

A Better Florist Spring Breeze Bouquet

The bouquet on my table at home 🙂 Doesn’t it my desk look a little brighter?

You know sometimes flowers can seem very generic? Even Cold Storage sells bouquets but you can kind of tell that they are somewhat bland and very typical. So why not learn floristry hacks and professional flower arrangement so you can personalise bouquets for your loved ones!

The renewed interest in the flower industry has forced old-fashioned brick and mortar flower shops to keep up with the times not only in terms of cost but also the overall presentation and packaging. Up your floral game by learning the basics in floristry, including modern floral arrangements and flower care.

And you can do just that with FLOWER JAM SESSIONS!!

A Better Florist is opening its doors every Saturday for its weekly Flower Jam Session. Whether you’re looking for fun date activities, quality time with the family or searching for a new hobby—they’ve got you covered. This week’s jam session will focus on succulents and Australian wild flowers. The plump and hardy succulents are excellent alternatives to the usual filler flowers for their interesting texture and appearance.

By participating in their flower jam sessions, even cheap flowers can be transformed into classy décor and luxurious bouquets. Sounds like a perfect fun session for friends to learn from their talented team of florists on how to bring more beauty and more joy into this world. They have a special rate of only $40 per person (for the first 3 sign-ups).

So do think of signing up for the sessions. You can bring home the flowers you arrange/make yourself! Sign up here or contact Kate at kate@abetterflorist.com to secure your slots.

In the meanwhile, I’m going to enjoy looking at the flowers every morning before I go to work and every night when I get home.

Thanks A Better Florist!

Till next time,
xoxo
Bernie

How to get a Scholarship to a Japanese University

The two main questions I get asked are “Why did you choose to study in Japan?” and “How did you get your scholarship/how to apply to a Japanese university?”. Since I’ve already somewhat written about the former, this post is going to address the latter question because I get it a lot and it’s easier to have a simple post explaining how I did it, and how anyone can do it.

Applying to a Japanese University is no different from applying to any university.

All the basic steps are the same:

Submit the application for which you’ll need your academic transcripts (certified true copies), at least one referral letter from a teacher and you might need to submit a personal essay and proof of financial support as well.

If you’re applying for a SCHOLARSHIP DIRECTLY TO A CERTAIN UNIVERSITY (versus just applying to enter the university), the steps are also essentially the same except you might have to fill in extra forms and go through extra interview rounds, or even some exams depending on the scholarship itself.

It is the same (tedious) method of applying to any school anywhere in the world and personally I wouldn’t say it is more or any less difficult except that you may have a lack of information regarding what scholarships are out there, what schools there are you can apply to and how to go about doing it.

Japanese universities that accept foreign students (aka most of well-known ones as well as universities on the Global 30 program) accept the local qualifications used in your country to enter a university in lieu of taking an entrance exam. For example, they accept an A level certificate or SATs so you do not have to take their entrance exam.

This may not apply to all universities, so please check their website. My university accepted my A level results.

You also need to make sure if the courses are taught in English or in Japanese, and you’ll need some form of certification for the latter (eg. JLPT) to prove you can and will be able to keep up. If not, you could also try taking a course at a Japanese language school in Japan and then applying to a university after completing their course. A few foreign students in my university took that route (both for the English-based and Japanese-based courses).

FOR SINGAPOREANS:

I found out about scholarships to universities all over the world thanks to the Higher Education Department in my JC. They emailed us whenever they got any info, and have a whole database, so start there. Ask your school teachers, find out if schools are coming to give talks. Waseda and Todai came to my JC to present their programs and the former was there to offer scholarships (a reduced tuition fee) to students nominated directly by the school.

You can also check out

JUGAS

(Japanese University Graduates Association of Singapore) for scholarships available annually specifically for Singaporeans.

They helped me, and many other students get our scholarships. I applied through them and underwent the first round of interviews with them before the university interviewed me. They paid the application fee + mailed documents to the universities.

JUGAS is also a support group for anyone wanting to study in Japan and all local graduates who later come back to Singapore after graduating. They hold workshops and activities and also do the information session for probably the most prestigious and highly sought after scholarship of all time – the Monbukagakusho (MEXT) Scholarship. This isn’t just for Singaporeans – it’s offered by the Japanese government and open to citizens of quite a few countries so if you’re interested, check if it’s available for your country.

You’ll need to go through a selection process that involves taking some exams for MEXT, but it covers all your tuition and gives you a monthly allowance. You’ll be studying 5 years (1 year in a Japanese language school then 4 years in the Japanese university) There are quite a few blogs by people who are on MEXT so you can check them out! Do note that MEXT is for PUBLIC universities, not private.

Another option is to check out  JASSO – Japan Student Services Organization.

This isn’t just for Singaporeans, they have offices in a few countries and compile the available scholarships for foreign students. In Japan, I could get a copy of the pamphlet with all the info available mailed to my address. Not too sure if this is available in Singapore though.

And if you’re wondering if you should study in Japan…..

READ: My experiences studying in a Japanese University (Classes, Life Lessons, Dorm etc), Cost of Living in Japan as a Student

kgu entrance ceremony

First day of school…..and then my last day of school:

hakama kgu graduation

It was a pretty damn good 4 years and for everyone who wants to take the plunge and study in Japan, I hope this post helped shed some light and provide some information on what you can do and how to apply for a scholarship! Not everyone has the chaching chaching to afford the pricey tuition and accommodation.

Gambatte!!

Till the next post,
xoxo
Bernie

2017

Hi, I’m not dead!

2017 has been nothing short of crazy thus far – I’ve been silent on this blog since November because I just didn’t have anything I wanted to write about. My heart wasn’t in it, my head wasn’t in it and emotionally 2016 was quite terrible. 2017, I hoped, would be a much better year, and it is.

That’s not to say a lot hasn’t happened in order to get to where I am now. And then from ‘nothing to write about’ life got a little bit crazy and this blog of mine got put on the back burner.

I’m in a much better place now – happier, better clarity of mind and it’s kind of like forcing myself into this situation is helping me progress towards my goals and generally getting my life on track.

bernielow_beanmylife

I started grad school in January and while I’m still quite lost, I’m less lost than when I first walked onto campus and attended my first class. I have one exam and some TA duties to settle before my first semester is over. Time is passing by really fast, and it feels like longer than the four (almost five, now) months that have passed.

I am getting older. There are so many implications in that statement.

I am learning what it means to get older, what it means being in my twenties, what it means to be human.

There is so much to learn.

I really have missed writing, especially when I read someone else’s blog – I love having a place where I can look back and read my memories immortalized in words. There are just some things that need to be written about, some memories that shouldn’t be left slowly fading away in my mind.

So many things have happened in 2017, will be happening in 2017.

And I am not alone in this.

Cheers to a great 8 more months ahead!

Till next time,
xoxo
Bernie

New (Overdue) Vlogs!

I finally stopped procrastinating and posted up two new vlogs on my YouTube Channel! Finally after six months of inactivity. I still haven’t edited the rest of the footage (plus years old footage) which hopefully I’ll get to sometime in this century.

This first one is of GRADUATION DAY!! I made a brief blog post about it (and the hakama) but the video was small snippets of the day itself. It was really quite hectic and I barely managed to meet all the friends I wanted to because it was the only day I had to print all the copies of my academic certs I needed from the machine in school that had a line snaking all the way outside of the school building.

It was also equally awkward because my Thesis Advisor/Seminar Tutor was overseas so I had to crash another Seminar so I could get my certificate. I had to sit in and listen to weepy graduates share their fondest moment in school with the rest of the group while I was awkwardly in the corner hoping to grab my things and RUN (also I knew the people in the room but more on an acquaintance level so really it was no place for me to hear all these weepy nostalgic anecdotes).

BUT YES it was indeed a fun day! I don’t really think it needs its own blog post any more but who knows.

Second vlog is of our one day in Nagoya which basically we did nothing but go to the castle due to Travel Fatigue. Travelling and moving all the heavy luggage to another place is no joke. Plus it was actually the second time we moved. Previously stayed in Osaka, then up to Kyoto then Nagoya before we moved to Tokyo. VERY TIRING.

Nagoya castle was nice! The bushotai/edo period warlord stage play? thing was cool, we didn’t go in and watch but did see the parade on grounds and their demachi which was CRAZY. Those fans man, those fans.

Had some awesome peppery chicken wings which were great.

So yeah, just a realllllly quick update on the new vlogs I finally got up!

I really miss Japan but I need to be back in Singapore plus I’m starting the new chapter in my life in January so….things are happening!!

Till next time,
xoxo
Bernie

When Being Overweight Holds You Back

Nobita from Find Your Love In Japan found my Overweight in Japan video I made a while back, and has featured it and interviewed me via Skype for some videos of his. He wants to emphasize how weight shouldn’t hold you back from enjoying Japan, from dating in Japan.

“Trust me, your size does NOT matter in Japan. The person who cares about your size is ONLY YOU. I know you can’t believe this, but in reality, You are actually very attractive. I’m 100% sure about that. I really hope foreign women don’t hold themselves back in Japan.” – Nobita

He’s trying to drive across the message that size is not an issue.


It shouldn’t hold you back from travelling to Japan. It shouldn’t leave you with regrets that something could have been so much more.

Yet it still does. 

When I look back at that weepy video I did (which will probably haunt me forever, I can’t bring myself to watch it again) it seems like such a silly thing doesn’t it.

A lot of comments agree.

It’s not being fat that is the issue they all say. It is INSECURITIES that are the problem.

“You’re not really fat! You are just insecure!” 
“Fat people just like to blame others for their problems. They’re just lazy and don’t care about themselves”

But where do these insecurities stem from?

From being OVERWEIGHT. 

From how body size is portrayed in the media.

From watching plus size female comedians in Japan being the butt of jokes and laughed at (many times related to their weight).

From being told you are ugly because you look a certain way.

From the branding that fat is a bad word.

From the lack of positive role models.

From being unable to love yourself.

It’s not easy to be positive.

I am scared to do things because I am overweight.

My insecurities about my weight have prevented me from trying new things because I think I’ll be judged for it. People will stare and laugh – hah, look at that fat person. What, she wants to do -activity name-? I don’t think the equipment can handle her weight!

It’s easy to tell someone not to give a fuck.

It’s easy to say you won’t care what others think.

But when you’ve been dealing with it for years sometimes it’s easier to listen to that voice laughing at you and just curling into a ball and feeling stupid for wanting different.

Having too much time on my hands inevitably leads me to overthink even more than I already do and it also fosters the perfect environment for wallowing in self pity and for the insecurities to hit home even harder than usual. It’s even worse since coming back to Singapore has perpetuated a sedentary lifestyle that had been developing in Japan when my school schedule was sporadic to the point where I only had to leave my room 2 times a week.

Now in Singapore the train station is less than 5 minutes away. The bus stop is just downstairs. Walking is beyond minimal, averaging 3000 steps a day when in Japan it was 10,000 or more daily. Coupled with Singapore’s terrible weather that makes everything a chore and the lack of freedom being back entails.

Most days have developed into routine. Look into mirror. Hate everything I see. Put something on. Hate everything I see. Throw something else on. Also hate it. Realise that everything will look terrible since it’s a terrible base to start with. So fat. Fat. Fat. Fat. Fat. Fat. just echoes over and over.

Me: what a disgusting fat fuck you are
Also Me: fat then fat lo

Me: everyone is going to judge me cause i’m fat
Also Me: fuq it let them see my fat ass struggling wtv

Swinging between each pendulum of self loathing and trying to be positive is draining. I hate myself even more because it feels like it has spiraled out of control, like nothing is going right. Nothing is going to improve. That all I’ve said and thought is nothing but hypocrisy.

Some days it feels like everything is swallowed up in negativity and nothing can save it, while some days I just want to fight back harder and embrace it and stop letting these insecurities get the better of me.

This is my reality.

I don’t take much pictures anymore. I started trying to force myself to go out and walk, attempt to jog. Actively cutting carbs, cooking more. Telling myself I can do this.

Break out of the cycle.

Stop letting your weight hold you back.

It’s so silly isn’t it? Being scared to enter a gym. Being scared to squeeze between tables to get to a seat at an eatery. Being scared to browse things in shops.

But it doesn’t feel silly when you think it. When you begin to limit yourself from things consciously or unconsciously.

It’s easy isn’t it – sitting at home and typing this.

But sometimes this makes it easier to cope with. To deal with when you see the words in writing. Thoughts are fleeting, simply pushed to the back of the mind, deleted. But words, words carry more weight.

I’ve tried before and failed. This time, or at least one time, I want to try and succeed.

And then there can be a post titled “How I overcame being overweight”. Hah.

Till next time,
Bernie

Dining deals, cashback and other online shopping offers at ShopBack!

 

One of the things I’m thankful to technology about is

ONLINE SHOPPING!

It makes life so much easier especially since it’s so difficult to find plus size clothes in stores….and online shopping now gives you access to stores all over the world that you can purchase from!!! I tend to find that the few local plus size retailers either don’t have styles I like or are a bit out of budget so I like splurging on overseas web stores!

But as a broke student who shops too much it hurts the wallet to keep spending although there are so many awesome things I want to buy….so how?

Get CASHBACK when shopping lor!

ShopBack contacted me to do a review of their site which…you guessed it…gives you cashback when you shop with their merchants. I actually heard about the site from my cousin when we were booking accommodation in Japan earlier this year but we booked via airbnb so I made an account but didn’t use it.

This time I went to look at what they have and I realised that they work with quite a few sites I shop at – ASOS, Zalora (sigh I just bought stuff from there a few days ago!!!!) and Taobao Singapore.

If you haven’t heard of Taobao…

Taobao is this wonderful online store directory in China which means everything is really cheap and there is almost anything you could want!! I used to do Taobao sprees with my friends and we bought shoes, accessories, plushies, clothes and a lot of things. It was a lot more troublesome because you had to use an agent so there were a lot of middleman fees.

Plus back then there was no ShopBack and part of me feels a bit sad to have only found out about it so late – cannot claim cashback on all previous purchases 🙁

But better late than never!

So how exactly does ShopBack work? (Step by step here if you don’t want to watch the video)

Quite simple!

And it’s not only online retailers that have worked with ShopBack. There is Honestbee where you can buy groceries from. I personally like walking in supermarket aisles (especially in the big ones like Fairprice Extra) cause it’s quite relaxing but not everyone has the luxury to spend so long walking or taking a trip there. Also admit it la, technology has made us some level of lazy so all these online conveniences are really spoiling us.

Like how we can order delivery from so many food places now, a few years ago there was only fast food delivery. So if you want to order food delivery you can also look for a FoodPanda voucher on ShopBack!

They also worked with sites like Booking.com and Groupon so you can get cashback when buying all sorts of things. I know quite a few people get credit cards with rebates but you need to spend a minimum sum before you get those rebates and not everyone can reach that so it’s good to have an alternate option.

Finally don’t say I bojio

Anyone who likes shopping will know the best word to hear or see is….

SALE!!

There are always flash sales, time sales, holiday sales, end of season sales…any reason under the sun is an excuse for a sale or some holiday (not that I’m complaining).

Like how 11.11 looks like two pocky sticks so it became Pocky Day but it also looks like two single people (??) and became Singles Day as well…and it’s also a nice day to find online shopping deals at the upcoming ShopBack 11.11 Sales.

shopback 11.11 sales

Easy enough to remember too.

So next time you’re shopping consider using ShopBack and using the $$$ rebates for more shopping!

Till next time,
xoxo
Bernie

New Chapter(s)

2016 has been an okay year and somehow it’s passed by so fast I don’t even remember what happened at the start of it and when I think back I realise I started the year still in Japan and now I’m back in Singapore for good (at least for the foreseeable next few years). I can’t remember what I did for new years or Christmas.

Oh it seems I watched Kohaku Uta Gassen, got a pizza then lay on the floor and cried while eating bread. Fitting.

But a lot more has happened than I actually realise:

  • I finished my undergrad thesis (through so many meltdowns and anxiety attacks) and submitted it on 7 Jan.
  • Then two months later I Graduated from University on 18 March.
  • Applied for Grad School and got accepted into NUS

and you know, small other things like the end of a relationship, having to go back into the dating pool then deciding guys are generally jerks and leaving, took a part time job at a relatively small company then quit a while later due to terrible office politics, making new friends, getting closer to existing friends, saying goodbye to a BFF who moved away for work, having to adapt back to SG life…

It’s so surreal because my life was Japan, Japan, Japan for so long that having to come back and now I’m feeling the disconnect from life in Singapore. I did a curating stint on the hellofrmsg twitter for a bit and reading my now SG filled timeline made me think and realise I don’t really know SG outside of my small social circle. I go to r/Singapore and I don’t know how to reply to questions there. I read what fellow Singaporeans are writing and I feel left behind sometimes.

I also feel stuck in ennui.

After quitting that part time job (I submitted notice the day NUS emailed me) it’s just been chilling and taking things easy. I started playing Animal Crossing and L4D2, and recently been playing Crush Crush, an idle dating sim for lack of a game to play to keep me entertained.

I reached 1,000 subscribers on YouTube early this year and then went inactive for six months and counting. I’m at 1,400 now and chances are I’ll get to 1,500 before anything else is posted.

It feels like I’m half-assing it which is a disservice to the viewers.

I have video footage that will probably never go on YouTube because it either contains people I no longer associate with, parts are missing, or they were shot so badly my terrible editing skills probably can’t save it.

But I do enjoy vlogging. I enjoy videos. I’m just not good at them and too concerned with how I present myself.

I just sent back some online shopping I did because the clothes were either too small or too big (even though all tagged the same size) and I love online retailers but not being able to try on clothes physically makes me sad. There are so few options and it’s so difficult to find clothes in the style I like.

You can argue that every person has difficulty shopping because of the large variety of body types and combinations of problem areas but it is still easier to find clothes if you tend to fit the most commonly available sizes that clothing lines tailor to. At either end of the spectrum you lose – too petite, too rotound, too tall, too muscular yada yada yada.

Ice cream and food was my comfort in emotional times this year so now some of my favorite clothing pieces don’t fit and now dressing up becomes a problem of “what clothes do I have left that don’t show my disgusting fats?”.

So I should take this time off before school starts to get my shit back together, right?

Cannot just keep waiting for motivation, need to start forcing myself to do things.

I have been watching vlogs on YouTube to try and get a sense of how to edit my own vlogs. Let’s see if I get it together enough to start the new series I want to start maybe next year.

Hmm.

P.S. Anusthing is possible – my queen of snakes just ssssslayed this year and I am so happy.

Till next time,
xoxo
Bernie

I have weird dreams

I tend to dream rather frequently, and it’s usually quite vivid and while I love it sometimes it also terrifies me and I’ve woken up too scared to go back to sleep. I’ve only ever messaged my friends about these dreams but Sherilyn has been bugging me to keep a Dream Journal and because I’m too lazy to make a new one just for them, I thought I’d just chronicle them here.

Most of them verbatim from how I text my friends about it

30 June 2016:

IN WHICH BERNIE DREAMS SHE IS RICH

Ok so last night I dreamt that I was rich (likely influenced by the reality tv show denise sent about rich Chinese girls and our conversation)

It starts like quite randomly like I can’t remember why but I came back from being away from home for quite a while and I have no idea why. So I’m at like a welcome back party or something? Then I think I’m at a counter or like bar or what when suddenly this guy (who is ripped for the GODS and super handsome af, Asian? possibly mixed?) comes up and puts his arm around me and then I am thinking like vaguely oh is this my bf HAHHAHAHAHA (like is more like oh I have a bf but i vaguely have forgotton who it is)

But ya ok is the bf can. so he welcome me back la, and for some reason when first see him his shirt was pulled up and can see the six pack which weirdly looked a bit too fakely sculpted on HAHAHAHA

Ok then go another place and it was like super atas af yet we had to climb the stairs to get to the apartment on the 30 floor and he offer to carry me and i am like is ok la dun need hehe

Then reach already the door unlocks (some woman who was at party w us? unlocked it) then we go in and it is HUGE and has it’s own concierge and everything is like a hotel inside that floor itself and supposedly is either owned by me or the bf or both of us?? So then we go and play in the fountain in the lobby or what

And there are those water spouts that can shoot things up if they are on top of it. Then i accidentally am on top and it shoots me up into the sky and I am like OMG! and then tell the guy “TAKE PHOTO!!! TAKE PHOTO!!!” Dream Bernie still desperate for that instagram shot wtf

So he take photo and it turns out to be like those jump shot in mid air kind except I posing with water and stuff

Then it changes to me being SINGLE AND KICKED OUT (? or parallel universe?) so I have to bunk with 2 couples (all my friends) then suddenly like our relatives brings a kid for us to take care of in the cabin or what.

Then the kid is scared the place is haunted and we see the panels on the doors start shaking and gonna come of and hands sticking through the doors and the boy screamssss but turns out is his relatives hiding behind the barsto pretend to scare him

Then I wake up…..

24 May 2015:

IN WHICH BERNIE IS TERRIFIED AND CHASED BY A SERIAL KILLER (+DETECTIVE! MATSUJUN)

(Verbatim from my Facebook post) Woke up from a nightmare all shaken. Here goes:

Ok so there is this psycho serial killer on the loose and the first part of my dream I witness her getting away from the police because she plastic surgery and then she very brutally killed her hostages and I witnessed it. Like she cut open the stomach and sliced the neck open and all the blood flow out. Then second part of the dream I was escaping home but still scared so had people accompany me back to the house and then turns out the police were there and we all had to stand around with hands up as they rounded up and caught some criminals who where the gang mates of that psycho killer. Then after they catch le The policeman said don’t worry we catch all of them liao… Well all except the leader psycho lady then I got DAMN SCARED. Then I noticed a lady in a stewardess outfit walk into the room and I noticed her FACE that she is the psycho lady and I knew she was going to kill all of us so I panic and tell the police who said I am talking rubbish so I run out and tell the other policeman but he take a syringe and inject sedatives into my shoulder so all I can do is CRAWL away and I see people screaming and panicking and I’m like OHNO I AM GOING TO DIE!!! Then someone drags my body away on the floor and I am shouting “HELP ME” and crying then the person drag me to a corner and I am hiding and panicking (this is where I wake up)

Ok but the best part was that one of the detectives was MatsuJun!! And he was talking in English that was very weird so I couldn’t help sniggering. Then he had this very ornate jacket that had all the medals and badges from successful cases. So I went to talk to him. I addressed him by a name he wasn’t too fond of so I then said “Yappari MatsuJun (de yonda) hou ga ii ka na” (I guess calling you MatsuJun is better!) and then he started talking to me. Which was when the Bad Thing happened……

5 November 2014:

IN WHICH BERNIE WAKES UP IN A PARALLEL UNIVERSE WITH A DEAD BODY?

I wake up in my dream in the exact same apartment that I lived in in Nishinomiya except I know it is my room, but it isn’t the same room. It’s a lot darker and it feels like my skin is crawling and I’m generally really scared and it doesn’t help the curtains are drawn and there is this extremely ominous atmosphere. I reach for my phone on instinct and it’s MY PHONE and I see my face staring back at me but it’s not me. It’s another version of me that somehow I’ve woken up into this reality of and the room just feels so cold and I’m so scared.

And then I remember feeling like something is SO VERY WRONG and it terrifies me and it feels like I shouldn’t be there and I remember kind of just shaking and then realising there was something on the ground. It was either a body or blood but it was a big vague blur then and now

I FOUND MY FB CHAT LOG SO I WILL JUST DUMP IT HERE:

I just had the worst nightmare
It freaked me out so bad
So like I was sleeping then suddenly there were like these weird noises like you know the type of machine noise like sounds or whatever like the static etx
Then like I couldn’t move
Like my whole body was paralysed and felt like got pins and needles all over
Then the sounds kept getting louder in my head and freaking me out
Then finally I could move my hands
Then I was desperately panicking and trying to wake up. Like I would see this ugly scary face thing forming in my mind and to push it away I focus v hard on friends faces
Then I finally wake up. It’s in the same room but the furniture is different and I have a lot more plushies. Like giant Pokemon plushies that cover the window/ keep the light out like they were all pushed against the wall by some psychic force
So then I’m like wait what is this this is not my room etx I don’t have these plushies
Then I’m freaking out and want to call someone
So I reach for my phone
THE CONTENTS IN THE PHONE ARE DIFFERENT
like it’s pictures of me but different pictures I don’t remember ever taking
And different places
I’m freaking out like mad and can’t swipe properly
Then I find the contacts/phone and start calling
Then there is more light in the room and I can see what is going on
THERE ARE BROWNISH MUDDY LOOKING STAINS ON THE FLOOR
I am fuckinh freaking out like mad
Then I turn to look toward the bathroom
And I panic
And I’m so freaked out
THEN I WAKW UP DOR REAL
And like I really very very shaken now
Like it felt so real wtf

like I was so scared
To reach for my phone
Like when I opened my eyes for real I was damn scared it would be that room
Like that reality
I looked toward (the toilet)
CAUSE I SUSPECTED AOMEYHING BAD
Like I killed someone
OMG

Friend: OMG i was thinking maybe alternate bernie got killed

Thoughts on ‘The Real Reason Why Women Drink’

Today a link popped up on my Facebook timeline and I went to give it a read and now I am just quietly sitting at my desk at work not knowing how to feel. It is a mix of emotions I cannot quite place in words as if my vocabulary is failing me, and these words somehow hurt like a slow numbing pain and leaves melancholy in its wake.

You should read it too:

Giving up alcohol opened my eyes to the infuriating truth about why women drink” by Kristi Coulter

It leaves me feeling hollow and sad and also leaves ripples of realisation because I start to think about my own life; reevaluating my actions and trying to reassess the meaning behind why I did them. For all the glasses, cans and bottles of alcohol I’ve reached for in the past and will probably continue to crave for.

“But knives and booze, yoga and booze, 13 mile runs and booze? What’s next to be liquored up: CPR training? Puppy ballet class? (Not really a thing, but someone should get on it.) Is there nothing so inherently absorbing or high-stakes or pleasurable that we won’t try to alter our natural response to it?

 

Maybe women are so busy faking it — to be more like a man at work, more like a porn star in bed, more like 30 at 50 — that we don’t trust our natural responses anymore. Maybe all that wine is an Instagram filter for our own lives, so we don’t see how sallow and cracked they’ve become.”

How many times have I thought Damn I need a drink! in hopes of ignoring the root of the problem but instead using getting drunk as a means to forget and escape from it? As if plying ourselves with alcohol takes away from the realities of life where we are mistreated at work, feel that we are deserving of less (be it due to gender or age or experience) or any bad situation, when instead all it does it throw on a filter that makes it seem less bad than it really is. Throwing on a filter that masks the injustices, thinking that ignoring it is better in the long run, thinking that using booze can make us happy, even temporarily so that we can somehow feel better about ourselves?

The magazines telling me strong is the new sexy and smart is the new beautiful, as though strong and smart are just paths to hot. The Facebook memes: muscles are beautiful. No, wait: fat is beautiful. No, wait: thin is beautiful, too, as long as you don’t work for it. No, wait: All women are beautiful! As though we are toddlers who must be given exactly equal shares of princess dust, or we’ll lose our shit.

 

And then I start to get angry at women, too. Not for being born wrong, or for failing to dismantle a thousand years of patriarchy on my personal timetable. But for being so easily mollified by a bottle. For thinking that the right to get as trashed as a man means anything but the right to be as useless.

And it just makes me think of all the times when I have been told to accept I cannot do something because I am a woman, being told I to accept that something happened because of my gender. In Japan, I was told I have to accept that men will treat me a certain way because of how I act. That I cannot judge them for how they behave, cannot criticize them because it is a product, a consequence, of who I am.

I was told off for calling an ex-boyfriend too clingy by an older Japanese man. “He is just being protective of you.”, and later he went on to say that “You are a strong woman so only weaker men will like you.” and I felt so offended but I could say nothing – he was a student at where I was working, the customer is always right, so all I could do was try and change the topic of conversation. (Supposedly, it is no different here in Singapore. Me being fat, opinionated and non-submissive throws me down into the dredges of the dating pool’s unwanted.)

Another time – I was told off for my appearance by an elderly Japanese man. It was again, at work, at an international party type thing with free flow booze and light snacks. I had dyed hair then and was wearing coloured contacts and had been feeling happy and pretty until he came over and decided to stomp all over and criticize my appearance. He sneered at my coloured hair tips, calling them terrible. “Your hair looks so dry and unhealthy.” before giving his look of approval at the ‘typically Asian looking’ staff next to me, praising her non-dyed black hair, her brown eyes, and asked why I was hiding my real eye colour, scoffing before he proclaimed that “Natural is best.”

Again, there was nothing I could say. So I took another swig of the can of chu-hai to try and remind myself that what he said didn’t matter. Like how I always had a can open, or a bottle ready for that day when I felt upset and needed something to nullify the pain.

I wish I could present my thoughts to this article in a better way, but I can’t because it hasn’t fully sunk in yet. There is so much more to mull over.

I will need to let the words sink in, read them another few times, and then, perhaps, I will have something better articulated that I can write about it.

So till next time,
xoxo
Bernie