Thanks for all the birthday wishes!

Some days seem to drag on, which was yesterday. On Thursday I stayed in most of the day except went to Holland Village Cold Storage for some groceries. The INSEAD Student Council hosted a BBQ at the apt complex next door to us, Dover Parkview, so we went for a few hours last night.

Today was my birthday but it really didn’t feel like it should be my birthday. Maybe because it’s not my birthday in the US yet, I was born in the afternoon I think. 😛 I guess also because I had to go to NUH this morning for my pre-employment medical check-up. They were rather straightforward with their assessments, it was a bit odd. For example, the nurse at the front desk handed me a urine test strip and asked me to go to the restroom down the hall to “pass urine” on the strip then bring it back to show her. I only thought it odd because there were not less than 5 people in the waiting area. Maybe we are too prissy in the US where everything needs to be so private… I had blood drawn.. ouch! For Hep B and Varicella antibody titers and I also had to get a chest x-ray for the first time. They don’t place PPDs here I guess because most people here have the BCG vaccine so a PPD will usually test positive. On a positive note, they are pretty efficient here with going through patients in a timely manner.

After my check-up, I headed to the Cancer Center Pharmacy to talk to my soon-to-be preceptor Siew Woon to see when I could start work. We decided that I can probably start Oct 29th! My application has been presented to a reviewer at Singapore Pharmacy Board (SPB) so I hope to hear back from them in 7 to 10 days. My Employment Pass (EP) has already been approved by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) so I am just waiting for the official letter from the SPB.

So what happens here as a foreign graduate, I must complete 3 months of pre-registration to learn about the practice of pharmacy in Singapore. In order to do that, I must submit an application to become a “pre-reg”. It’s taken me so long because I did not bring a few documents (diploma and pharmacist wall certificate) with me to Singapore and they require verification of originals. I did bring a few documents that were not accepted because they now require these be sent directly from the school of licensing board. Most of my documents are finally in order and I’m hoping they’ll give me “in-principle” approval of my application so that I can start my 3 months of pre-registration training. I also must take and pass the licensure exam, known as the “forensic exam” on December 1st. After I complete the 3 months training and pass the exam, then I can finally be a registered pharmacist in Singapore.

I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel…

So sorry for that tangent… I headed home after NUH to have some lunch and Gladys asked me out to celebrate my birthday at 3pm. I wasn’t exactly sure what that meant but I assumed it was something sneaky because she had helped with Ariana’s surprise birthday a few weeks ago. I met her at the ground floor of my apartment at 3pm and we started walking and she said she thought we’d do karaoke. We have 2 entertainment rooms at our apt complex that you can rent out for parties. Although the surprise was a bit spoiled because one of the security guards came to ask Gladys about the air conditioning in the room because it apparently was not working. But as we walked up the stairs to the karaoke room, I was pleasantly surprised to see the partners waiting there to sing me happy birthday 🙂 Some of the girls spent all day yesterday baking cupcakes! There were chocolate ones and maple syrup ones, both very yummy. If you’re asking yourself “why maple syrup?”, the Canadian partners Anne Sophie and Emilie brought their own stashes of maple syrup from Canada and use it in everything. They reminded me of pancakes so now I have a a craving for banana and chocolate chip pancakes…

We didn’t really sing but listened to some classic Chinese music, which reminded me of the songs my mom used to sing when we were kids, and then some oldie English music. We just sat around, munched on goodies, and chatted… especially what we could be doing while all our husbands/boyfriends were studying for finals. Although we didn’t really figure out anything 😛 We had to break up the party around 5pm though because security came back to hint to us that we had to go. They’re so strict here!

Thank you ladies for my party! It’s so nice celebrating with new friends 🙂

I’ll try to round up some pictures later to post…

Soon after I got home, Ron came home from studying and with a bouquet of flowers. If you know us, you know that I always harass him because he hardly brings me flowers anymore, maybe only once every other year… so I was pleasantly surprised by the bouquet of orchids.

There were quite a few types:

Ron planned a dinner at this restaurant called Ikukan off Club Street on Mohamed Ali Lane.

We sat down to this cute place setting:

The restaurant style is “Contemporary Japanese Cuisine” so they had things on the menu like Foie Gras Tofu and Foie Gras Chawanmushi. Notice I’m focusing on Foie Gras? I miss it… and I still miss it because they didn’t have any! Apparently they sold out during lunchtime… so we’ll just have to go back some other time to try it.

Drinks first: Umeshu (homemade plum wine on the rocks) and Ron’s cold sake

BEI NASU DENGAKU (deep fried Australian eggplant with red miso)


SUSHI MORIAWASE (assorted sushi: tuna, swordfish, amberjack, salmon, scallop, conger eel, ikura, and sea urchin)

Fresh fish was so yummy!

HOTATE SPICY CREAM (baked scallop, seafood, and eggplant with lemon and spicy cream sauce)

This was a bit strange, too sour.


It was yummy, sort of made up on left over fish pieces.

KAMO NEGI (2 sticks of duck breast meat and leek with organic sea salt)

Tasted like beef! A bit dry.

OCEAN TROUT HARASU (2 sticks of ocean trout belly with organic sea salt)

This tasted and looked like salmon, the charred skin was the best part but fatty so didn’t eat much of it.

SASAMI UME (2 sticks of chicken breast with plum paste and organic sea salt)

I think not enough plum paste, it was rather plain except whatever green herb on top gave it a bitter but pleasant taste.

SUKIYAKI (grilled chicken breast, mushrooms, tofu, green veggies, and some type of noodles)

Very yummy but we ordered it before we realized we were already full so I didn’t eat much of it.

Dipping sauce for grilled chicken breast in sukiyaki, I think a soft boiled egg

We were pretty satisfied after the meal.

Approximate cost of $55-60 per person. The service was quick and attentive. I’m sad to have passed on dessert because they had banana cheesecake and tempura ice cream but I started to have a tummy ache. 🙁 But I guess that just means we need to go again. They have outdoor seating which looked nice, especially on a cool night like this.

Thank you Gladys, Ariana, Anne Sophie, Emilie, Elina, Sofia, Marit, Neha, Gaelle, Maryam, Virginie, Clotilde, Nathalie for my party in the afternoon!

Thank you to Justine and Yu-Ming for coming to my dinner in the evening 🙂

Thank you to my brothers and parents, Joyce, Vicki, Lisa, Jane, Dwight, Tiff, Helen, Will, Gary, ShineTay, Andy, Teddy, Cindy, Jeff for your “electronic” birthday wishes!

I’m sorry if I forgot to mention anyone’s name, I didn’t mean it on purpose! I feel blessed to have so many friends sending me well wishes, so many that I have a hard time keeping track 😛

I couldn’t have wished for a better day… thank you all!

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