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Lockdown Diary: Day 5

It’s last hour of lockdown. Making it the shortest lockdown I have experienced so far, but didn’t mean it was in any way easy or got easier.

These five days have been a constant battle of staying positive.

I couldn’t take a mental health day off today from work, nor can I anytime soon. And by the end of workday today, I felt entirely drained, like I am running on empty.

Alas, it’s almost over now. For now. This wave.

Ps. After work, I watched Contagion to wind down. Weird choice, I know. It’s a good movie, eerily similar to the current situation.

Pps. Something random, I wondered about the zoo personnel during the lockdown. Some of them still have to go to work every day to feed the caged animals. Strange time we are living in.

Ppps. Tarot card of the day was the Seven of Pentacles from the Fifth Spirit Tarot deck.


Whale Watching In Gold Coast

Whale-watching had never been on my bucket list.

I have a constant fear of drowning in the dark bottomless sea, and I love my sea creatures served on a plate, both raw and cooked. So when Liz suggested for Fafa and me to go whale watching at Gold Coast, I wasn’t too sure. The anniversary/new year’s eve day we had in Thailand, of embracing the choppy sea, in a fast-moving ferry, while trying not to die of the horrible food poisoning, didn’t feel that far away. Then again, the Melbourne Cup long weekend was long enough not to do it. Also, I thought this could serve as a payback to those sea lovers who went to Harry Potter theme parks just because they had the chance even though they were not a fan. Yes, I could be vindictive when I want to. Ha!

It was a sunny morning. We boarded the boat and started our journey from the Nerang River to the vast Pacific Ocean. We swallowed the $2 travel sickness pill given on-board and were warned that it might be hard to see any whale, as it was the last day of the year. That was fine by me, I didn’t come with much expectation, as long as none threw up on board, myself included.

Minutes later, when we were in the open sea and the captain asked us to keep a lookout for any water eruption sign.

At first, nothing happened and I was already like, “Ugh, this is going to take all day, I didn’t come all the way to Gold Coast just for this!”. But then someone from the upper deck noticed something and off we go to the 9 o’clock direction before stopping near what looked like flat water in the middle of a wavy ocean. Apparently, it was the footprint of the whale, who just emerged and dived back seconds ago. I was pondering on why it’s called a footprint, not a flip print when people on the other side of the boat shouted something in Japanese (our boat was loaded by multi-cultural tourists).

Then I saw it, up close and personal, a Humpback whale! Two Humpback whales! A mama and a baby whale, emerging from the water and swimming gracefully.

The baby whale was still very young. This family was about to travel back to the Antarctic where their food, planktons, are mostly located. They will then come back to the continent’s shore annually to give birth. The captain said the baby whale will live up to 60 years, which means it will outlive most of us on the boat. How is that for an overall humbling experience?

We chased one whale after another for a good few hours. Meanwhile, the captain kept encouraging us to communicate with them. He said the whales love it when we make sound and wave to them.

Under normal circumstances, my bitter soul would find it moronic, but not that day, my friends! Bearing the sun at its peak and the shaky boat, I was all talk to the whales. I think it worked as just before we head back to the pier, a whale gave us a once in a lifetime performance. It kept breaching from the water, slapping its’ fins, and dancing around the boat as if it was saying goodbye to us.

Reflecting back, the whole experience was pretty spiritual. At the open water, practically in the wild, I could really feel felt the connection between us humans and those majestic whales. It also nudged me to appreciate the concept of nature beyond the trees and land.

My only regret was not bringing my DSLR, I would have caught those sexy curves better. Maybe this could be an excuse for another whale watching session?

If you get a chance to go whale watching, don’t miss it, even if whales are not really your thing. If you are going to the Gold Coast, do it in June through December. You might even be able to see it from the beach.


Singapore Panda Stamps

A couple of months ago Singapore received two pandas as a gift from China to inhabit the river safari, Kai Kai and Jia Jia. It seems like the entire country is in love with them, except for me. I don’t feel anything about these pandas, or maybe pandas in general, not that I have seen a panda before.

I also don’t see the gaga-ness over these pandas is going to end anytime soon, since almost all the places I regularly visit, including stores and coffee shops, have some panda related stuff being displayed. Fortunately for me, it didn’t mean anything, because as I said earlier, I feel indifferent towards them. But that’s before I found out that they issued stamps in their honor. I bought these stamps from the Singapore Post Office near my office. They are also selling the panda-themed pre-stamped envelopes (below) which looked much cuter than these stamps, but I didn’t get it as I don’t want to branch out and overwhelm myself with all the postal stuff, for now.