Re-opening of Tampines Library

So I have been to my local library (Tampines library) since I was a child, and recently they closed down to move to the Tampines hub. Me and my mother decided to check it out today which happened to be the official opening day for the Tampines hub.

When I stepped into the hub and throughout the entire journey, I was utterly disappointed with the entire trip.

1) Expectations

I already saw preview photos of the library and was eager to check out what they had done with the place. Once we stepped into the Tampines hub, it was flooded with people (Okay, it was the opening day, we have to let that slide) but there were queues everywhere for things like free water? When we entered the library, it was bustling with noise (Mind you, its a library) and kids were running around in hectic circles. And to my horror, I heard that there was a playground (YES, IN THE LIBRARY, luckily it was enclosed) And for even more horror, they placed the teens section near the children section.

2) Rudeness

Apart from the failure of expectations and large amount of people. 90% of the people were extremely rude. Adults pushing their prams let theirs eyes wonder (WAY TOO MUCH) and I swear I almost got rammed into various times and yet these adults will blame you if the pram is hurt (Yes, I said pram, because if your eyes are wondering so much, you probably don’t care about your child’s safety in the pram). Adults letting their children run wild let animals in a jungle and if they hit us, they cry and it becomes our fault when we are just walking around minding out own business.

A shoutout to the people who bother avoiding others so that there is no clash!

Inside the library, it was way more spacious than the previous one, but the amount of people in there was no joke. And to be honest, I rather they have left the old library as it is. As the adult fiction and teens section were on two different levels, I followed my mum up to the adult fiction first. It was good that they brought in new books (I found Roar by Cora Carmack, The One by Jason Marrs and Gotham:Dawn of darkness by Jason Starr (My absolute favourite TV show)) But at the same time, the people browsing were really thoughtless. I was sandwiched by two women (Lets name them A (left) and B (right)) but I spotted an opening as they moved slightly so I went through the hole. Woman B suddenly fell and hit the bookshelf (I swear I didn’t touch her! If I had caused her to fall I would have apologised and helped her up) and then glared at me. I didn’t touch her and then I realised she was wearing one inch heels, but still, I didn’t cause her to fall, there was definitely still space when I went through that hole.

Even the elderly who are pushing their trolleys also just walked without a care in the world.

We all need to learn to be aware and be more thoughtful of others.

3) Giant shelves

Okay, so finally we headed over to the teens section, there were plenty of new books (I think, I couldn’t go through the entire section because of the quota problem- will be mentioned later) But who’s clever idea was it to put the books on such high shelves even though there are stepping stools?

Photo of the Teens fiction section by ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG (Do let me know if I can’t use this photo, I’ll take it down immediately)

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Look at how high those shelves reach, okay maybe I’m just short at 5″1, and there are foot stools around this area, but isn’t this library a public library? Shouldn’t the designer have planned it more for accessibility rather than for the aesthetics? I have to crane my neck just to see if there’s a book I want up there.

4) Limited quota

Okay, so I had 10 books sitting at home with me due to the previous increase in the quota from 8 books to 16 books (x2) but now I have a passion card which enables 10 books to be borrowed (just recently got it) but as a book lover, I want to borrow as many books as I can. So imagine my horror when I realised that I had 10 books at home and that the quota for 16 books was removed already. The staff did little help but they also had to abide by the library rules. Then my mum mentioned that they should let us borrow it with a small fee and I totally agreed with her.

Singapore, even though a small country, our population is huge and out of that population I bet that less than 10% still read physical books since the age of technology has taken over. And if the national library is trying to encourage more people to read, then shouldn’t the quota be increased more regularly? I’m not asking for the abolishment of the quota, I’m requesting that we can borrow more than 10 books (maybe an extra 10 more) with an additional fee. Its pointless to sign up for a membership of $42 to ensure that 16 books can be borrowed EVERY TIME when there is a low probability that I would hit the 16 book mark every single time I visit the library.

So unfortunately I had to give up the Gotham: Dawn of the Darkness book and opt for the other 2 books and had to even use my mum’s library card to borrow them because I maxed out mine. Its like punishing a kid for doing a good deed, dumb and pointless. My mum couldn’t borrow many books herself because she also forgot my family member’s cards 😦 So imagine my pain when I had to leave a book behind, and it was a book on my absolute favourite TV series, Gotham, at that. T.T

5) Excessive food outlets

So when we reached the Tampines hub, we just dropped our old library books in the book drop before heading to grab lunch (the time was already 2 something) and we couldn’t find any seats at any affordable stores. We found a salad store (Yes, they only sell salad which doesn’t make you full unless there are carbs and the cheapest was $7, Don’t get me wrong, I literally LIVE to eat veggies but that was daylight robbery) so we decided on another pricey store and quickly ate our lunch. The amount of food outlets in this place is uncountable and they shouldn’t really be proud of it. It was advertised as a hub where people could gather to do things together, like visit the library, a swimming complex, activities, but then they decided to throw a whole bunch of food outlets here to let the hub make money which is more of an inconvenience than a help. I understand that the people here need to eat, and so does the patrons, but it was 2.30pm, WAY past lunchtime and we almost couldn’t find a seat.

 

Did you check out the new Tampines Hub? What did you think about it? Let me know in the comments down below!

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Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1) by Leigh Bardugo

(Hey guys I’ll be using a new book rating system using emojis!)

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Title: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1)

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone

Recommended to fans of: Red queen series by Victoria Aveyard, Shatter me series by Tahereh Mafi, The arcana chronicles by Kresley Cole, The selection series by Kiera Cass

Series: The Grisha Trilogy

Publisher: Indigo

Format: paperback

Genre: Romance, YA, Fantasy

Rating: 📕📗📘📙 out of 5 books

[Synopsis] (Taken from goodreads)

The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.

Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite – the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?

The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfil her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.

But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?

(Thoughts) (DISCLAIMER:This is my opinion only, may contain spoilers for the book, may contain coarse language)

  • Mal and Alina’s friendship is quite cute
  • Still not sure what a Grisha is in the first chapter, but apparently they are treated like royalty in the current country
  • The inciting incident, an attack at the fold causes Alina to do something that sparks the interest of The darkling, the strongest Grisha
  • I was still confused about the Grisha, they have names specific to a certain type of power, but some of them are still unaddressed and there is no breakdown as to what exactly each one of them did
  • The map is really beautiful
  • This book feels really similar to the Red queen series (but I think that this series came out first, but I was quite late in discovering it) and phantom of the opera
  • The scene where the darkling saved Alina and he asked her to focus on him and not the corpse was really cute
  • The darkling doesn’t abuse his authority and he sees something in Alina that she doesn’t
  • Wow, they use magic to put on make-up (this sounds awesome)
  • The darkling definitely saw something, thats why he wanted Alina in the black kefta
  • Alina doesn’t care for the Grisha rankings and that feels very fresh
  • It was good that we are introduced to the little palace and how things run in there
  • Alina can’t call forth her powers and is looked down upon on her instructors (but is explained why later)
  • Zoya is really a bitch and even uses her power in a strictly physical fight just because she feels threatened by Alina and to prove that she’s better
  • The appart is really creepy
  • Baghra’s sarcasm was hilariously refreshing
  • So its later explained that Alina had problems calling forth her light as she has been suppressing it for too long
  • I felt that there should have been a glossary for all the terms used in the book
  • OMG that kiss between Alina and the Darkling was so sudden
  • And during the celebration, she was sent a black kefta with the Darkling’s symbol on it (this definitely showed his possessiveness)
  • Wow, the argument between Alina and Mal was really tense
  • OMG, that plot twist threw me off, Baghra is the Darkling’s mother?! And he intends to use Alina’s powers to hold the Volcra off while he expands the fold to gain more power (No wonder a lot of nobles did not trust him?)
  • Alina runs away and bumps into Mal and they find the Stag
  • This book crushed my hopes of Alina and the Darkling (But I still believe that he has a good inside him, deep down) (I still prefer the Darkling over Mal, LOL)
  • The world building of this story was good

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts and opinions? Leave a comment down below! 🙂

Annoyed

Well, I just finished my violin lesson and my teacher was trying to get me to sing out the scoresheet and I was close to tears.

To normal people, they would find me crazy and weird that I would get so intimidated to sing out loud, well, doesn’t everyone sing out loud?

Yes, I sing out loud at home and when with my close friend of 8 years, but in front of other people? You might as well kill me.

I did sing a few bars, but couldn’t continue any more after my teacher was asking me to sing louder as she mentioned it was good for the ears.

One problem could have been the excessive amount of phlegm in my throat due to my recent sickness that has yet to subside, but thats not why I felt so much like crying in a cave.

On the way home I thought about it. I’ve never been an expressive person to strangers or even if i knew a friend for 3 years. I’ve never let people’s expectations of me fall because I’ve been living with expectations all my life. I am a perfectionist even if everyone can’t see it. Even voicing my opinion is hard, so how could I sing out loud?

I don’t think I have an unpleasant voice, actually many have praised it (if they ever heard me sing) that it was quite okay. Maybe it was because I felt that my voice never mattered in this endlessly chattering world where the loudest voice gets the best ‘votes’. During my FYP, I was publicly shamed in front of my group by my Director for not speaking up, for being quiet. In my clique I was annoying because I didn’t reply whatsapp messages when I felt my messages had no point. During a karaoke session in secondary 2 when an acquaintance mentioned when me and another friend were singing that we were off tune and pitchy (Even though her voice isn’t nice to listen to 😐 )

So if you asked me what took away my voice, I might be funny and say Ursula, but its not her. The monsters are the people who acted like friends yet hurt you with every word and blamed you for being distant later on.

Or maybe I’m just overthinking all this and that next week I will have the confidence to sing out loud (please pray for me). At least I’m heading down to the newly re-opened Tampines library later on which will definitely make me feel better.

Have you guys ever experience this? Would you like to hear more of my life experiences or life posts? Let me know in the comments below!

 

The Emoji Movie (2017) Review

Rating: 3.5/5

(DISCLAIMER: The opinion in this post is my own and everyone is entitled to their own opinion. This post may contain spoilers for this movie)
Well, I know I’ve never mentioned that I would review movies, but maybe this could be a start.

A little more about me, I have a diploma in Digital Film and Television and do enjoy watching movies for fun.

What was the decision that made me want to post this? Was that I felt that this movie was bashed way too much in a way that was extremely unfair.

Firstly, there was a lot of negative reviews for this movie, claiming it was ripping off wreck-it-ralph and that it was a pointless movie. Even on IMDb and rotten tomatoes, The Emoji Movie was not spared the harsh criticism from the critics.

As a 21 year old, I did feel that the movie resonated as it also addressed the issues such as phone/ social media addiction of the current society, the issues of shyness of a crush, things that we all face or have experienced in this day and age. Yet, this movie was bashed harshly for its lack of imagination, predictable storyline and horrible romance.

Well, if you wanted a good romance, then you should have watched a romantic comedy movie. At this day and age, every possible story has already been done to death and regardless of whether it is a great story or not, the probability of it being predictable stands really high.

Since everyone else has been eager to point out how horrible the movie was, let me point out what was REALLY good about this movie.

1) The world building of this movie was pretty good.
They had a decent protagonist (someone who is different from the social norm) and that sets up the story really well at the start for the development of the movie. Each emoji works and must maintain the same expression throughout their entire lifetime. (Thinking more deeply into this, doesn’t this show how we are afraid to break out of our ‘same expression’ in fear that we would be ostracised by the world for breaking the status quo?

2) It addresses strong themes that the world is just sweeping off its shoulders.
Of course we have all heard a million times that our current society is addicted to our phones and social media, but this movie also teaches us that physical and human connections are important as well. Alex’s main dilemma was that he liked this girl and wanted to get to know her better, the use of emojis was to aid him and it did teach him that just being himself is good enough. The strong theme of ‘just being yourself, because everyone else is taken’ is used so literally here, but all of us have to admit its true. There’s no point in trying to fit in, in a world where fitting in is the norm. None of us were created to just, fit it. We are here to make a difference.

3) The protagonist emoji is relatable.
Meh was supposed to maintain a ‘meh’ face his entire life, but he can’t, he laughs at the elephant fart, he’s greedy for the money when the scam, scams him. But isn’t that all of us? We can’t expect ourselves to maintain the same expression everywhere we go, that makes Meh as a character, really relatable yet diverse at the same time. Meh could be any one of us, or none at all.

4) Adorable
Come on, you have to admit, a lot of these emojis and workers of their respective apps are adorable.

5) Creative
Critics may slam this movie and call it predictable, but I saw a lot of creativity in this movie. The scene where Meh’s mother walked into Instagram and into the photo, and then walked into the picture and the next scene is where the photo was taken but everything else around her was paused, that shot in itself was the highlight of the creativity for this film. The clever use of familiar apps (I don’t know whether they were sponsored or not) such as Candy crush, Just Dance are what we are addicted to and what we used to play. They even included to PPAP video in Youtube, you have to give them credit for at least trying. But it brought about fond memories of these apps yet they were incorporated into the movie very easily.

I know these points may not be really strong enough, but I strongly believed that this movie wash harshly criticised and felt the need to defend/review it because nothing is as bad as it seems. At the end of the day, ratings are just numbers, but stories will live on in time to come.

Have you watched this movie? What did you think about it? Would you like to see me do more movie reviews, do let me know in the comments below!