#LJIL December ‘15 🎄 Feliz Navidad!


< Views like this are reason enough for me to get up at 5am and cycle to the Gym. How magical, so so magical. >

December was a crazy crazy crazy good month. Mum and Dad were here in Munich with me for a good part of the month, I scored above expectations for my Pre-Qualifizierungstufe Language Exam, I achieved several PBs in the Gym and on my bike among other things. However, what made December so very magical was the reveal of a 2-month old surprise I’d been keeping from some very special people in my life.

December 2015 was full of laughter and generally joyful moments. There were moments when I’d really end of rolling on the floor with hands clutching my stomach and begging for whoever it was making me laugh to stop.

December 2015 was also a month of lessons, revelations and observations. These lessons, revelations and observations that I speak of were as follows:

1. Wei shared with me that Thais type “5555555555” in replacement of “hahahahahahaha”. Why? Because “5” is pronounced as “ha” in Thai! How serendipitous it was that I chanced upon *this* a few days later.

2. I don’t recall how we got to the topic of chicken calls in class, but that day I learned of how chicken calls are perceived/ interpreted in different parts of the world. It is “Gugugugug” in Taiwan, “Cocola O” in the Philippines, “Kikirikee” in Germany, “Kuk kurukuuuu” in Indonesia, “Korkorkorkor” in Brazil and the already well-known “Cock-a-doodle-dooooo” in America.

3. I found out that in Brazil, potatoes and cucumber are sliced and put on one’s head if they had a headache.

4. Every noun in the German language has a gender. Ergo, all river names are gendered too. I found out from an Indian ex-classmate that all rivers in India are ‘females’ except for the Brahmaputra, which is a ‘male’. Why? Because the Brahmaputra flows in the opposite direction from the other rivers.

5. One day I opened SnapChat to see an event called “Chess Boxing” taking place in the UK. I had no idea what that was so I did a little wikipedia-ing and found out that Chess boxing is a hybrid fighting sport that combines two traditional sports, chess and boxing. The competitors fight in alternating rounds of chess and boxing. What was initially only thought to be an art performance quickly turned into a fully developed competitive sport! How interesting! I can’t imagine how comical it must be to witness fighters in their aggressive mode switch to calmer states to engage in a game of chess..

This was a screen capture I took from the SnapChat story:


6. Robert shared with me that if PSI levels/ air pollution in Munich reaches unbearable levels, the citizens could sue the government!

7. Robert also shared with me that December 2015 was the warmest December since the 1700s. Not a surprise considering I managed a bicycle trip to the gym in nothing more than a T-shirt, a thinnish jacket and tights… in Winter!

8. Jolly Christmas tunes were played at the Gym – over the speaker, during Zumba (never realised how much fun it could be to dance to ‘Jingle Bells’), form the gym-goers’ iPods. A laughable moment (well, at least it was for me hahaha) was when my Body Pump instructor replaced all the “1… 2… 3”s into “ho… ho… ho”s! Ah and speaking of the Gym, one day I walked out of the course room and spotted someone in the Cross-Fit Studio who sported a heart-shaped sweat pattern right where his shirt came into contact with his chest.

9. I also heard some pretty amazing lyrics on the radio:

You put the work in, don’t worry about the praise, my loveDon’t try to change the world, find something that you love; And do it every day; Do that for the rest of your life; And eventually, the world will change – Macklemore Ryan Lewis Feat. Ed Sheeran – Growing Up

Hate will make you cautious, love will make you glow – Lost Frequencies – Reality

10. What differentiates an ‘insanely healthy’ person from the rest? *Here’s* a look into their mornings (i.e. before 9am). A dear friend had sent this link to me and said, “Dear friend, my insanely healthy friend, keep doing what You’re doing! 10/10!” It put a great big smile on my face that day. It warms my heart knowing that I’m respecting the body I’ve been given. As Bobby Carlos once said, “It’s hard to feel bad about a body you take good care of.”

11. The benefits of a bicycle are as follows. I remember a picnic at Botanic Gardens when Miriam said that all she needed in life were bananas, a blender and a bicycle. It resonated with me! However, I do feel that the equation may have extended to include almond butter for her and perhaps sweet potato for me hahaha!


12. Christmas trees were set up around my neighbourhood and I spotted cute pom-pom-like deco hanging from the branches. They reminded me of the pom-poms that were being made by young children on excursion in one of handicraft rooms at Singapore Arts Museum (SAM). They reminded me of who I spent that magical day with. They reminded me of… Jo. Oh I miss You, Jo.


13. Regardless of whether one indicated on their mailbox if they’d like to receive advertisement/ coupons/ etc. or not, one gets them either way.


14. I was walking around Münchner Freiheit with Mum and Dad one evening when we spotted some elderly men playing a ginormous version of chess. I shared this with Alex and she pointed how it could take the form of a good exercise for the elderly. Imagine if the chess pieces were made slightly heavy… the elderly would get a (light and manageable) full body training session after a game of lugging the pieces around the life-sized chess board.


15. Ana Helena shared with me that “Feliz Navidad” means “Merry Christmas” in Spanish! So “Feliz (belated) Navidad”!

Have a joyful New Year’s! I’m just so so so excited to see where a new set of 365 days could bring us all in life.


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