The Girl Who Remembers

Cynn (not her real name) contacted me via Facebook sometime ago. Looking back at a screenshot she sent me over the weekend, I realised one full year had gone by since. Through our online conversions, which happened once in a blue moon, I remembered being intrigued by her. I couldn't quite put it in words. She was the kind of person that you could sense her energy and enthusiasm in life so strongly even over a few text messages. In retrospective, I should have told her to write my blog instead for which I am certain she can move her readers far better than I can.

I did not expect her sudden email at all so it came as a pleasant surprise. As a bonus, I even received pictures of her so now I know how she look. She didn't even mind if you know how she look because she said I could pick one and put it up. (above) Yup, the babe in the pic should be Cynn. What impressed me wasn't just her beautiful feisty red hair but the fact she actually remembered my request to her (which I naturally forgotten already) to be my guest blogger. For that, I felt loved. You will be able to feel Cynn's blinding optimism in the account of her fascinating adventure in New Zealand. So I am sharing this with you, hope you are inspired by this young Singaporean girl the same way as I do.


Cynn, "The Girl Who Remembers"
11 September, 2013


When Nix asked me to guest write an entry a year ish ago, I didn’t feel qualified enough as I’ve only moved to New Zealand for a couple of months at that point. Well it’s been long enough and I supposed it’s time! (Okay honestly I completely forgot about writing this actually hehe sorry bro).

My problem has always been that I talk/write too much. So where do I begin? There’re just too many awesome things to say! 

At that time Nix told me to write something which “summarise your experience so far. telling why u go there, your plans and interesting things (such as this one) so far.”

I thought I might just cut and paste some stuff – this is what I wrote to Nix which he wanted to publish:


Background info to readers: This was one month after arriving in NZ with very little savings and a luggage+backpack. I was still quite a fresh grad at that time, only had one year work experience in Sg. I was telling Nix about my experiences with recruiters after sending out like at least 30 applications every day since arriving in NZ. Okay actually I was kiasu – started sending out resumes even before I actually landed in NZ to try to set up interviews for when I arrive. Had no luck there anyway until…

Anyway, job search's been quite happening. got one disastrous phonecall which i screwed up badly HAHA u should hear about it man. 

That phone interview caught me off guard, i was chilling at macs with J [link], halfway through a blueberry muffin when this departmental store called regarding a retail position. naturally, i've sent out so many CVs I kinda forgot what I applied for and i didn't catch the name of the company cause i thought she was a friend. i even told J "eh who could be calling me?". 

So i thought it'll be rude to ask her to repeat so i just decided to smoke my way through and the first question they asked was "why're u the most suitable person for this job?" and since i had no idea if it was a retail/customer service/receptionist/marketing job, i just said the first thing that came to my mind which was "because i needed a job."


I got it right and did well towards the end when i finally figured out the company and position she was calling about but the damage's been done! i just wanted to end the call asap, i was so embarrassed! 

Anyway i always believed that things happen for a reason. 

So because i was quite disappointed and wtf at myself for screwing up, i returned to sending out CVs with a vengeance and scored the next interview! honestly im happy to have any random job but this upcoming one has potential even though it's just office admin. cause they're also looking for people who can multi-task and help them with marketing stuff!

I'm not gonna be all "YAY $$" yet as it's too soon to tell but im just glad i have good news to share with u 

I didn’t get the job mentioned but I got a proper full-time Marketing job at another interview!

Yeah and that J dude mentioned is the same J Nix has spoken about many times. Actually Nix put me in contact with J and I met up with him in NZ. J introduced me to CK (Nix has also spoken about him before here). He’s a good friend and he misses J haha. 

Yo J, CK and I are awaiting your return! We’re also talking about planning a trip to Aus to visit Nix (ooops spoiler alert!).

Alright moving on to the proper blog entry. See I talk so much I’m already so far down the line and I haven’t even really gotten to what Nix told me to write yet. Well if you’re still here, good on you! Bonus points for not having short attention span. Okay I’ll try to keep it short and sweet from here on.

Summarise my experience… Hmm I’ve been in NZ for 1 year 3 months. Always wanted to live overseas ever since I was in Uni. Nothing drama – I don’t hate Sg, in fact I’m really proud to be Singaporean, but I just feel like the world is huge and there’re so many things out there just waiting to be experienced and discovered. I feel like I’m wasting my life if I were to stay trapped in one country forever. I love Sg, all my friends and family are there but ultimately I can’t answer to myself and I will never be happy in life if I didn’t go on an adventure far away from home. 

My final destination has always been New York (yeah yeah cliché I know but what to do, I am a victim of good marketing) and I actually passed on an internship there because I was with my ex at that time. Well things didn’t work out with him so I’m here in NZ and the plan is to be here for the next 3 to 5 years, then after that who knows? US, UK, Canada? Or I might even end up staying in NZ for good which is not a good (or bad) thing but… Don’t get me wrong, I love NZ and I think it’s a wonderful place. I have lived briefly in Aus and I definitely prefer it here in NZ. No offence to Aussies out there! Both countries are amazing and Aus is better for shopping/partying but there’s something about NZ – the people, the weather, the rugged terrains and untouched landscape etc… To continue my thought from before, I feel like I haven’t had enough of the world yet so I don’t wanna commit to NZ 100% as of now. 

Of course things and perspectives will change as the years pass so I don’t know what’s it gonna be just that I would love to move to another country again. I just feel that while I have the youth and energy (and not much to lose) I should head in the opposite direction of my home country, and come back to Asia again when I’m ready to settle down. I don’t think I would return to Sg… Other than to visit family and friends. I love Sg but it’s just not suitable for me. Like the girlfriend/boyfriend you know will never work out no matter how many times you patch back/how much you love each other. 

Having said that, I wouldn’t give up my Sg citizenship though. I enjoy travelling with the Sg passport and how convenient it is to visit most countries. Well maybe in a couple of years my tune will change. Probably the more time I spend away from Sg the less I would relate to being Singaporean. But at this point my Singaporean identity is still really strong so… 

Wow I’ve said so much and didn’t even touch on interesting things that have happened… Maybe next time! Alright quickly! In point form:

I’ve never looked for a job as hard in my life as here in NZ. Even went door to door to drop off CVs and showed up at recruitment agencies personally and made a lot of calls to prod people

Eating out is expensive in NZ! And it’s not even fine dining

Chocolates and dairy products are the best here. Beef and lamb a close second

Cars are so cheap you can die of shock. I got my 1993 Honda Civic for $1.8k

Don’t wear your contact lenses for 3 days straight at an outdoor music festival because your eyes will get an infection and don’t wear slippers because you will lose them and don’t bother bathing because you will fall and slide around in the mud anyway and even your mobile phone will get caked in mud

In NZ, it will always be colder than you think it’s gonna be, so bring along a jacket/jumper/sweater/extra clothing 

Living abroad by yourself is lonely no matter how many friends you have and how many parties you go to and how many nights you don’t go home

Flatting with strangers can be fun or disastrous and the stories to tell can fill a book – from flatmates eating your food to stealing your clothes to bringing random people back for orgies to organizing great house parties to having someone to call to transfer you money rightaway when you’re stranded in a small town miles away and your credit card just got declined after you put $65 worth of petrol in the car and you only have $5 in your bank account and the other 2 credit cards you have on you are maxed out

Yes above point happened in Franz Joseph in the South Island when the whole town got struck by lightning and their credit card terminals are all down

I almost died trying to cross the treacherous winding Arthur’s Pass alone in a small rental hatchback in bad weather conditions with flooding and wind gusts alerts and waterfalls coming down the side of the cliff you’re on, across the very road you’re on and down a cliff/valley on the other side of your car

I had one of the most incredible moments of my life when I drove up the Southern Alps and it started snowing. The loud pitter patter of rain became softly padded snow all around me and there was a light dusting of snow on the ground and everything was silent and in slow motion. 

Okay too much! Let me end this abruptly before I talk your ears off (or eyes in this instance).

Haha Nix you said you’ll be waiting for this entry. Here is it! Sorry it took so long.


1 comment:

  1. "I had one of the most incredible moments of my life when I drove up the Southern Alps and it started snowing. The loud pitter patter of rain became softly padded snow all around me and there was a light dusting of snow on the ground and everything was silent and in slow motion."

    Moments like this make life worth living.