Categories
Personal

One Marriage, Two Weddings, Three Days

On this day last year, the third and final day of our wedding ended. Honestly, it was the most exciting three days in my life, filled with lots of memories and love.

It’s not very common, at least amongst the people I know, to hold weddings that are three days long. The first evening was our solemnisation, second evening was our Chinese wedding and the third was our Malay wedding.

As our marriage is interracial marriage, I thought that it was only natural that we’d invite guests from various cultures. Throughout the three days, we accommodated a total of approximately 1500 guests from different cultures and countries (Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, Myanmar, Australia and the UK).

We held our solemnisation on 22 Feb 2019 evening which lasted for two hours. It was a private event where only family and close friends of about 100 were invited to attend. The solemnisation was held in a Malay-Muslim custom. The Kadi (ROMM official), with the presence of two male Muslim witnesses, are needed to officiate the marriage. The venue was at a void deck near my parents’ HDB block. The same venue was used for our Malay wedding. The event was a first and rare experience for most of the non-Malays.

The next morning, I woke up at 7 am to prepare for day two. Day two was something new for me. I had never witnessed a Chinese wedding before. I had only known of it through videos and stories from others. We started the day with the gate crash, where I had to fetch my wife from my in-laws’ house. It wasn’t that easy though. In order to reach my wife, I, along with my groomsmen had to go through challenges a.k.a “gates”. Although it was difficult to clear the gates, we had fun. After clearing the gates, I received my wife from the room she was kept in.

Soon after, we had a traditional Chinese tea ceremony. During the ceremony, we had to offer our families tea as a formal introduction as a couple to our families, pay our respects and show gratitude. The tea ceremony ended a little past noon. We headed out for our photoshoot and ended in the evening. The venue for our photoshoot was where we first met – Changi Fire Station.

In the evening, we headed to Day’s hotel for the wedding dinner. Normally, Chinese wedding dinner in a banquet setting, with tables of ten in a ballroom or such. We held ours in the hotel’s restaurant, in a buffet setting. The wedding dinner was held for four hours, which ended at 10 pm.

On the third and final day, we had our Malay wedding. The Malay wedding was also a whole day event. The reception started at 11 am, where guests were invited to eat freely from the buffet served. I only arrived through a march-in process led by the kompang group (a group of Malay percussion), accompanied by my groomsmen and some family members. Once I’ve sat on the dias with my wife, we had performances by the kompang group and a Malay dance group. The reception was then followed by a photo-taking session with us. The session took longer than planned. I had initially set aside an hour for the photo-taking session but I think it took close to two hours, which forced us to rush through our lunch and change of costume. Our second march-in was delayed by half an hour but it did not affect the schedule much. We had another photo-taking session in our second outfits, cake cutting session and ended off with a speech.

The day did not end for us just yet. We had a sunset photoshoot in our second outfit with our groomsmen and bridesmaids till 8 pm. After which, I held a small get-together at my new house for my foreigner friends who flew all the way just to attend my wedding. I was really moved by their actions.

The three days were tiring but nevertheless, an unforgettable experience for everyone involved. The fact that we had a wedding in the customs of both Malay and Chinese culture made the experience even more unique!

If you were involved in any way for my wedding and are reading this, I would like to express my sincerest gratitude for your presence and love. May God bless your souls.

P.S. Enjoy some photos from the wedding.

Categories
Personal

My First Anniversary

Today marked my first anniversary being married to my lovely wife. Time really flies. It has already been a year since my solemnisation! So much has happened in the past year. We’ve both learned so much about and from each other.

We decided to celebrate our first anniversary yesterday instead of today as I had work. My initial plan last year was to celebrate our first anniversary by going on a holiday (most likely Japan again! Haha) but well, life happens and instead, we’re given the best gift we could ever ask for! We went for a simple dinner together. Only this time, a little different. It wasn’t just the both of us but went together as a family of three!

It was really exciting to bring our little one out for the first time. He was so excited to see the outdoors. He sat so adorably in his stroller with his eyes wandering about and his occasional smiles. We can’t describe how happy we were for such a simple occasion. It’s totally different from going out as a couple.

Sitting down waiting for our dinner to be served, I surprised my wife with a gift. She read my letter and shed tears of joy. I’m not sure how to explain this but I feel really happy whenever I witness her tears of joy. My heart feels really warm. It got better. At the end of the letter, I stated that she would get a present in exchange for a kiss to both myself and our little one. She was so shy.

After which, I took out her gift. Her first reaction was laughter, thanks to the gift being wrapped in pamphlets which I recently got from a shop. I guess that speaks a lot about me. I’ve often told her I find it a waste of money to buy wrapping paper. While the shape of the gift was obviously giving away the answer, she guessed wrongly a couple of tries. When she finally opened one flap of the wrapped gift and took a peek inside, she smiled from ear to ear and squealed in excitement. That made me even happier! She was so excited to be gifted something she’s been wanting for months. She kept repeating like a broken record about how she couldn’t believe I’d actually gift it to her. Her excitement lit up her face as she tore the wrapper and held her brand new Airpods in her hands.

I would like to believe that my strategy worked as I prepped her mentally earlier not to expect much for our anniversary and that I hadn’t much prepared. She said it was fine but I could see her eyes expressing disappointment. But man, I would have really been an ass if I really had nothing prepared. For this year, I’d say I’ve accomplished my mission.

We ended the night on a very good note as we reminisced the moments we’ve had over the past year and talking about what we’d be expecting in time to come. I’m really blessed to have such a wonderful family and I pray to continue to be blessed for the rest of my life.

Categories
Personal

Don’t Expect Having a Child to Change Your Life

How much I’ve changed in a month since becoming a dad. I’m pretty sure, many like myself would have heard how life-changing being a parent would be. I didn’t realise then how vague that statement was. One thing I can tell you upfront is – don’t expect having a child to change your life.

Being vague, I definitely formed my own impressions and thoughts. I thought it’d be a huge life-changing impact. Even right now, I’m having difficulties explaining my initial thoughts. Maybe how I viewed it was that having a child would change my very purpose of being alive. I thought my life would revolve around my family. I thought my life and career goals would change. I’m pretty sure I had a stronger impression but I’m not able to put it into words. Whatever it was, it’s definitely positive, seeing how excited I was.

Exactly a month has passed since I’ve taken on the responsibility of another life. How much has my life changed? How much of my impression was right/wrong? Let’s see…

I’m still…
  • I’m still playing games
  • I’m still seeing my friends
  • I’m still working the same job
  • I’m still studying
  • I’m still spending the same amount of time at home
  • I’m still watching my dramas
  • I’m still frugal
  • I’m still stubborn
  • I’m still lazy
I’ve changed to be…
  • More emotional
  • More understanding of other parents
  • More family-oriented
  • More easily agitated
I’ve lost…
  • My alone time
  • My beauty sleep
  • My privacy
  • Part of my money set for me
I’ve gained…
  • A new family member
  • Lots of love
  • Attention
  • Knowledge
  • Experience
  • Wisdom
  • Sympathy

So, how much have I changed? That’s pretty subjective. My life is definitely more family-centric now. I schedule my time around them, I buy things with them in mind, I always look forward to seeing them after a long day at work, I smile when I think of them, my phone is filled with photos of my child now. Heck, even my sleep pattern is defined by them.

However, other than that, I believe I haven’t changed all that much. What I want to say here is, many expect change externally. However, it doesn’t work that way. Change in us can only start from within. External factors are just motivations to help you change.

Don’t expect having a child to change your life. Likewise, don’t use your child as an excuse for your changes.

Categories
General Programming

Palindrome Day – with Python

Although today feels like any other day, it isn’t (if you actually find fascination in numbers). Today is a palindrome day! No, it’s not a holiday nor is it any sort of celebration or festive.

A palindrome, according to Oxford dictionary, is “a word, phrase, or sequence that reads the same backwards as forwards”. Today’s date, 02-02-2020, is a palindrome. It has the same sequence when it is read forward or backwards, 0202 2020.

Dates are written in different formats, depending on one’s preference. Although you’d be able to spot palindromic dates on other years depending on the date format, today is palindrome no matter which format you write today’s date in, DDMMYYYY, MMDDYYYY, YYYYMMDD or YYYYDDMM. The last palindromic date that satisfies all the formats was 909 years ago, 11/11/1111. The next such palindromic date would come in 101 years on 12/12/2121. I doubt many of us reading this would live to see the next palindrome day.

Out of curiosity, I’ve written a script in Python to check for palindrome. You can find my code below, on GitHub or run it here.

def palindrome(word): 
    revword = word[::-1]
    if (word.lower() == revword.lower()): 
        return True
    return False

word = input('Enter word/number: ')
check = palindrome(word) 

if (check): 
    print(word+" is a palindrome") 
else: 
    print(word+" is a not palindrome")
Categories
Personal

How I’m Getting My Sleep as a Dad

I was warned by many dads that once I have a child, I can say goodbye to proper sleep. What I mean by proper sleep here is getting my eight hours of undisturbed, quality sleep at night. I took their warning lightly, thinking, “how bad could it be?”. I wasn’t too worried then about how I would be getting my sleep as a dad.

I’m pretty sure many would expect me to be facing similar experiences as they did. They told me they did not get sufficient sleep, at best, six hours and that would be considered a luxury to some. Even then, it’s not consecutive six undisturbed hours of sleep. They’d get the sleep in blocks of one to two hours, multiple times throughout the day and night.

Planning

So, I prepared myself prior to my son’s birth. First, I broke up my sleep. In the beginning, I’d sleep for four to six hours, wake up for a toilet break then sleep the remain hours until I got my eight hours. As time progressed, I shortened the intervals and wake up more times. From waking up once to two, till up to four times. Of course, when I was exhausted, I let myself sleep through. I wasn’t training myself, just giving my body an introduction of what to expect.

Secondly, I planned with my wife strategies on how we could possibly handle the situation. We would each take day or night shifts caring for our son. Or, take turns attending to him each time he needs us. This option is not my preferred option as it would lead us to be calculative. The scenario, “I did it the last round, it’s your turn”, would be inevitable. The third option is to take “shorter shifts”. For instance, she’d take 12am-4am while I’d take 4am-8am or vice versa.

Third strategy would be to play by ear. This is a weak strategy, in my opinion. In the beginning, it would seem like it’s fine but I foresee that weeks or months in, when we both start to feel more tired, we would argue about it. Just like in TV shows, the husband would nudge the wife to wake up and it would become a viscous cycle. That’s something I would want to avoid as much as possible. The kid is both ours and it should be a shared responsibility, not only a single parent’s.

Reality

It has been a little over two weeks since we’ve become parents now. I’m glad we’ve done some planning before. Currently, we’ve been toggling between our first and second strategies. On nights my wife seems tired, I would take up the night shift, while on nights that I’m tired, she’d take up the night shift. After which, I would let her sleep more in the day or vice versa. Although, it has been more practical and comfortable for us to adopt the second strategy. Neither of us has to be up all the time the entire night and we can both get sufficient sleep. She often prefers to take the first half of the night while I take the second.

In practice, we don’t decide before we sleep or ahead of time at all. It has so far come naturally to us. If she feeds and changes our son’s diapers at midnight, she would very likely take the first half of the night or the entire night shift, in the case that I wake up for the second half.

We’re both tired and need our sleep. It’s all about supporting one another and not to be calculative. I’m lucky I’ve been working shift jobs the past seven years as so far, I’m doing more night shifts. Because of that, she gets more rest at night. Even then, I’m still getting six to eight hours of sleep every day. I’m glad with how I’m getting my sleep as a dad.