MUJI was originally called “mujirushi ryohin,” meaning “no-brand superior items”
“Bluebird” in Hokkien means “Penis”
I feel totally maxed out right now- my new job is very challenging, which is a good thing, but it’s making me tired and I have to get used to the run-run-run pace again. It feels a lot like being a freshman all over again except the stakes are way higher; there are real clients with lots of money, and it’s hard to balance the demands of the clients and my boss (which are sometimes opposites, haha). Every day I feel like I am asked to do a dozen new things I have never done before, and I have to figure them out by myself. BUT I am really grateful for the amount of trust that I know has to be present to hire a foreigner. And the fact that I got so much responsibility shoved on my plate so quickly, while taxing, is actually a compliment. I’m temporarily heading up a project with very picky clients, plus doing two other smaller projects. At lunch I am usually bombarded by questions about America, which makes me wish I was better at remembering historical things and better at caring about politics. How long does it take to travel from New York to San Francisco? Which state is the poorest? How much does a Ferrari cost? Also, my boss assumes that all Americans are from texas. They have no concept of distance and of places being very different from each other because Singapore is about the size of NYC.
In addition to all of this, I’m juggling a freelance job and making Halloween costumes. Which are going to be pretty damn good. Somehow between now and thursday I still need to find a black shirt… harder than it sounds. I need to figure out how to make more pre-made meals since I get home so late. Also I miss spending time with Candice and Hayle- I even feel guilty about not seeing Hayle (the 5 year old daughter), she was so upset when she found out I couldn’t be her babysitter, plus I said “I’ll still see you on evenings and weekends” which so far has been a lie.
Chris’ mom mailed us a bunch of fake autumn leaves, which I stuck up all over my room- so now it feels like a crazy Fall Wonderland.
Ooh, and I found out there is an Each-A-Cup (bubble tea) in the mall near my job! YAY
Interview (along with a strange test project) at Kaleido today sucked. Which i kind of knew but had to find out for real. Boy am i glad I didnt end up at a marketing agency. All the guy seemed to care about was my software proficiency. There was hardly anything on the walls, and nobody was talking to each other. The work he showed me was… well I had to make a great effort just to nod and say “uh huh” and stuff like that. It was mostly newspaper ads for retailers. It wasnt even laughable-bad like the work Alec is forced to do, it was just… empty. Ugh.
Then when I got home I got a call from someone from Catalog magazine about freelancing! I’ve seen one issue and it looks like Nylon, which is AWESOME. Then in an email from him to schedule a meeting:
“My friend Jiaxi has spoken very highly of you, so I’d love to speak to you and see how we can possibly work together on this.”
Who the hell is Jiaxi? How does a person named Jiaxi know me? Weird and awesome. Hope I have time for all of this.
Other fun bits of my day: torrential rain (yay for underground walkways) and spending over an hour trying to figure out how to get a package re-delivered. The mail system here is lacking customer service, to say the least. Forget pressing zero to speak to a human.
Today was CRAZY! As I was getting ready this morning for my interview with Lost Communications, I got a phone call from a guy from a company I just emailed last night. He asked if I could come in at 2:30. So I suddenly had two interviews! I went to the interview with Lost (and I got lost on the way, haha) which turned out to be just two British women. Unexpected. They are a start up that is doing well but they were only offering freelance, which I can do on weekend and evenings. And they’ve already given me a project, I just have to give them an estimate (the difficult part). Sweet.
After a lunch of delicious kimchi noodles and killing time in Central mall, I went to the Credence interview. They are small but good small, not awkward small- about 6 people. Their office is cool and they have a dog. We mainly just talked about design in general, what projects they are working on and stuff in the past, and things that I’ve worked on. It seemed like I had it in the bag before I even showed up because after we talked for a while I asked if he wanted to see my portfolio, and he said “No I know everything about you, I know what you’re capable of.” WIN! He had even seen my cruddy Wayward drifters website. Also, the position I applied for was “designer/art director” and I told him that I didn’t have any formal art directing experience, but I have worked in groups and delegated tasks and such. To which he replied jokingly “none of us have any experience.” DOUBLE WIN. Yay for learning on the job! And they’re really into dabbling in forms of media without having professionals, like they’ve done some film and photography stuff without having all the professional equipment.
I go in on wednesday to fill out my employment pass paperwork. Yay! I can’t wait to be legit, you cant do anything without an employment pass.
Met a nice korean lady at the bus stop who was trying to figure out how to get to Ikea. Suddenly I know more than people!
Also, i forgot to mention that while I was sitting at the bus stop, a guy rode by on a bike who had two African Grey parrots perched on the bike’s basket. No lie.
I had an interview for a part time job today, and I think I got it! I have another interview monday and I’m waiting to see how that goes. I hope it is as good or better than the part time because I really don’t want to trap myself with a 2+ day a week job, it would prevent me from taking on a full time position. It really sucks that this place (Antics@play) doesnt have enough design work for me because they sound awesome; they have an interesting mix of clients and they have a lot of fun fashion clients. TMost of what they do is marketing/PR/events and branding. And the woman I met with today was really nice.
Candice, the girl I’ve been hanging out with a lot (she is the wife of one of Chris’ classmates) just got a job as a long-term sub for kindergardeners at a Chinese International school! YAY! Spending time with her and her super-adorable 5 year old daughter Hayle has been great, I feel so much less isolated.
I went to the old city hall’s open house to meet Candice, the wife of one of Chris’ classmates, and her daughter Hayle, who is 5. The open house was kind of a bust- it was supped to be a chance to look at the building before they turn it into an art gallery (YAY) but there wasnt much to see if you hadn’t signed up online for the tour. SO there were some photographs, and few little informational panels, a “craft fair,” and a kids’ room with walls to color on and such. It was really nice spending time with someone instead of wandering around by myself all day. Candice is looking for a teaching job and she is into jewelry and other craft stuff like that, so we will have lots to do together.
At one-ish they had to leave for Hayle’s dance class, so I wandered around the area for a while. I peeked inside of Raffles hotel- a giant snooty colonial style thing which is named after the guy who “founded” Singapore (basically turning it into a place with a few hundred bamboo houses on stilts into an urban multicultural port) and I looked in the gift shop, where you can buy pretty much anything with the Raffles logo on it, plus a lot of “Asian” touristy crap.
So I was trying to find the correct bus stop to get home, but I failed. I had some laksa (not my favorite thing, I was just giving it a second try to be sure) at Toast Box (popular coffee chain) and what do you know a guy sits down at my table who looks Indian but is American! He does computer stuff and gets flown out randomly to fix complicated systems, like at banks. So that was a nice chat.
I gave up on the bus and took the MRT home. It was a really hot day and I was worn out. But I was happy I got my free goody bag from City Hall, so now I have a nice tote and a tea sample. yeah.
Sunday was our six year anniversary! [makes me feel a little old] So we slept in a lot, then watched Attack of the Killer Klowns, which I’m sure you can guess was horrible and hilarious. I tried to do some research to pick out a restaurant but we decided to just go to Sentosa and figure it out when we were there. We had delicious pomegranite frozen yoghurt at Vivo City on the way. On Sentosa we did the nature walk (since it was free, haha) which was a nice trail through some little pieces of rainforest. Still haven’t seen a monkey, argh! We say cicadas, plants, and I got some mosquito bites. After all that walking we were starving and we ate at the first restaurant we came across, which was not incredibly fancy, but that was OK because we were able to afford appetizers. I had some sort of local seafood noodle dish and chris had fish. Yum. Then we planned on seeing Songs of the Sea, which is a light show. We went to buy tickets and the girl at the ticket booth was fiddling with the ticket printer. We stood there like idiots watching her, because she said there were tickets left for the show but didnt bother saying “sorry, the machine’s broken” or anything like that. Then we went to the ticket booth closer to the location, but the line was a mile long. So we decided to save it for next time and we got cotton candy and walked around looking at all the beautiful lights. My favorite thing is this water feature that is a bunch of mosaic-tiled animals that shoot jets of water. So creative! Sentosa is a very magical landscape at night.
1. Went to JewelFest2010 at Ngee Ann City to check out the bling. People were modeling huge rocks with beautiful saris- so much sparkle! Also there was free wine and hors d’oeuvres and I got to pretend I was rich.
2. Wandered around in the Ngee Ann City food courts for a while and found out that kimchi can be made of many things, not just cabbage: I sampled cucumber kimchi and garlic stem kimchi (now that’s a killer pairing). yummy.
3. Came home and found out that I didn’t get the job. After managing to tell myself that they could take their sub-par wages and bad attitude and shove it, I emailed 6 job listings.
Chris is applying for a TA position at school, I’m proud of him.