anotherlongshot (anotherlongshot) wrote,
anotherlongshot
anotherlongshot

E left Singapore last night. It was his first time in Singapore--in Asia--and he stayed with me at my parents'. We were also in Hanoi for six days; I was there for a conference, and we spent the rest of the four days sight-seeing. The flu that he infected me with, after he'd fallen prey to Hanoi's unspeakable pollution, makes me wish that we hadn't gone to Hanoi after all. Not only was the conference not useful for me, but being ill since my return to Singapore--I literally began to feel sick an hour after landing in Changi Airport--has meant that I have not been able to continue my half-marathon training. This is very frustrating. I was pleasantly surprised that I was considerably faster in Singapore than I'd thought, and I was doing interval training and things like that. But now, I have to take at least two weeks off training to recover and it makes me feel like I've undone a lot of the good work that I've done. This includes all the body toning things I've done too--I think I've lost significant hardness in my core, and almost certainly in my biceps and triceps. Being sick really sucks; it's also caused me to lose at least 1kg, and I have no interest in losing weight at the moment. This is probably the sickest I've been in the past few years; usually I fall sick--that is, catch a minor cold--once a year, when summer turns into autumn. That was done already. This flu is unexpected and aggravating.

The point, though, is that E was here for two weeks. My favourite moment was last night, just before he left, when we were sitting on the bed, and I had a sudden attack of tears. 'I don't like it,' I said. 'You didn't do anything in Singapore. All you did was go to Gardens by the Bay.'

'No, there was also the TCM,' he said--meaning, Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Talk about turning tears into laughter. He was referring to a couple of days ago, when I was fed up with feeling worse despite finishing the medicine that my GP gave me (I was on the verge of losing my voice), and I went to a TCM practitioner. I had three TCM techniques done to me for the first time: cupping, scraping and acupuncture. All of them hurt to varying degrees. There was one particular needle that was driven into a vein on my left leg that made scream with the voice that I barely had. After I was done, E said that he wanted to get treatment, too.

So there you have it: E's first visit to Singapore involved a trip to Gardens by the Bay (my first time in the indoors garden; I went solely because of him as I don't like touristy places in Singapore, especially those that I have to pay for), and to the TCM practitioner. I have a photo of him lying face-down with at least twenty-two needles sticking out of his back and red cup marks all over. I already know that this picture will be in my PowerPoint presentation at our wedding.

*

Also funny: he left the living room to join my mother and I at the dining table for dinner last night and forgot to switch off the light. I admonished him for forgetting to turn off the light, and got up and switched it off. 'Oh, sorry,' he said--and walked towards the now-dark living room to switch off the light.

Even my mom couldn't resist laughing.

So yes. It was nice having him around.

*

I think the Chinese medicine makes me nauseous. I've been feeling nauseous for at least the last day or so, and I'm currently feeling nauseous. I may go have a lie down.

I really ought to write more in this.

*

Oh, my viva took place. I was petrified. I thought of all the answers that I should have thought of in the moment after the viva was over. But I did manage to give a few good answers, though there weren't enough of them. My examiners didn't tell me what they will recommend to the degree committee, but they said they were very positive about the thesis.

So I guess I've passed; it's only a matter of major, minor or no corrections. I will find out in due course.

*

Lastly, I'm re-reading Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, and now I understand completely why my JC literature teacher hated the writing. There should be a user advisory warning on the cover so that those triggered by comma abuse will stay far, far away. I hope The Testaments isn't written in the same style because I'm not sure I'd be able to get through it if so, and I'm re-reading Handmaid's because I want to read The Testaments.

Handmaid's has never been one of my favourite Atwood novels. The main reason was that I studied it for A Level and so I was sick of it. But now, I actively hate the way she wrote it. It's not just the comma abuse; it's also the cringe-y over-writing: sentimental imagery, ridiculous imagery, imagery obviously meant to be potent with deeper meaning but which doesn't make any sense. Going from Alice Munro to Atwood in The Handmaid's Tale is like going from literary bliss to the deepest depths of a literary abyss.

*

And no, I haven't been writing.

And yes, I'm still vegan.
Tags: books, e, phd, sick
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