Rose Week/Thorn Week: The curious case of opening bottles

When people ask me, how does it feel to live in a different country on your own? I didn’t feel any difference till DE day arrived when I had to open a strawberry jam bottle. The lid was ‘stuck’. The glass surface was cold. I tried opening it for a good 15 minutes standing, sitting, sleeping in various positions and angles, hoping that that would make a difference. Breaking it on the floor was an easier option but I can’t afford to do that. It was $3.99. For a person who had almost emptied every single cent in the bank balance, I had to save every ounce of the strawberry jam.

I couldn’t open it after 2 hours. For a moment I regretted not attending the physics lecture during my JC times and that I should have been an industrious student and not escape to the nearby chicken chop uncle’s shop. However, even if I had attended diligently, schools don’t necessarily teach these kind of survival skills.  Youtube came to rescue. Actually, it was simple physics. It was the pressure that made it threateningly impossible to open. Once the pressure was released, anything can be opened- just like your mind. Finally, machi!! Open the bottle! This incredibly successful discovery gave me confidence to open other cans and bottles such as sardine cans and coconut milk can which, initially, I had a battle with. 

$30-a-week meals 

I feared about how I would also end up eating cup noodles and bread just like the myth about what students studying abroad consume. If an incompetent cook like me can do this, anyone else can do it. A little planning is needed. But I wonder if Jamie-15-minute-meal is a conspiracy theory. On the first day when I started preparing meals, I spent 2.5hours. what 15 minutes? By the time, I brought all ingredients, pots and frying pans to the centre of the table, 15 mins up. With a week of practice, the duration has reduced to an hour for preparing meals. Quite an accomplishment!

Within a week, I suffered from 2 wheezing/breathelessness/exercise-induced asthma attacks. Having developed this condition 6 months ago, I thought it would become better with prescribed medicines and hopefully a new environment. The first time it occurred here was when I played outdoor soccer for 15 minutes on orientation day in the skin-peeling organ-vanishing weather. The second attack occurred last Sunday during a social meet up session. This futsal session was organised by a friendly Iranian coach who decided to form this group and this was his first session as well. Since it was new to everyone, no one turned up except me. He was so accommodating and decided to do some foot practice together. 

The discomfort in my chest started 15 minutes into playing. The dry cough started gradually. I felt the congestion in the chest. The phlegm was raising its wings like a phoenix. I didn’t want to look like a weakling even though I was very excited and enthusiastic about my first futsal game after several years. Thus I just washed my face and continued playing. I came back to kick the ball a few times. The cough continued as the trickles in my throat became unbearable. I had to stop playing several times. I felt like puking. I sat down to take long deep breaths. I could hear the loud wheezing sound. I told the coach that I can’t do it anymore. He suggested that I should go home and rest. And he also drove me to the nearby bus stop because this was really at an ulu ulu place.

And the evening buses on Sundays operated at timings - 6.26pm, 7.26pm 8.26pm. At the bus stop, I was still coughing and spitting phlegm and other body parts that was competing with each other to fall out. Massaging my entire neck and nose with peppermint oil helped 0.2%. The journey back home in the bus was spent me thinking about curing this overnight so that I can really get back to playing my favourite sport.

An intense google search began. And everyone knows what happens when we search for anything with regards to our health and body. Yes, I almost ended up concluding that I have a terminal illness and my life is significantly shortened. Turning to Youtube, indeed helped and motivated me after watching videos of how this college athelete has been training hard for marathons and running races despite suffering from exercise-induced asthma. There was another girl who played softball even though she has this condition. So what excuse do I have? Breathing exercises and walking, for a start, should help I guess.

With freedom and peace, comes tons of other responsibilities! I had to call and ensure the internet modem kit is ready at the store for me to pick it up. Because if I opt for the delivery or for them to fix it, I really then have to eat cup noodles and bread for the next 7 months.  I had to call the property manager to inform them of the damage and the withering of plastic parts from the kitchen rangehood. (I am pretty sure it is not because of my aggressive amateur cooking) 

I need to call the guy who sent a notice stating that there will be some electricity upgrading next week in my apartment. But the company stated on the notice isn’t the electricity provider for my unit. So how dare you touch my current-du da dai? After talking to the guy, I realised that this fellow does the upgrading no matter who my electricity supplier is. How do I know la? I come from a nation where we go to PUB for everything. 

(click on the label below to read about other rose/thorn weeks)