In this day and age where we are more connected virtually than in reality (sad truth ahem), good connectivity is no longer a privilege, it is a right! Heh. Having been frustrated with my laggy home connection, I switched over to local broadband operator ViewQwest, which is known for their fast and stable connection. Guess what? My buffering days are over.
I first heard about ViewQwest from my gamer friend, Finn. According to Finn, ViewQwest is THE internet service provider to go to if you want to have a seamless connection with zero lag. I was both skeptical and excited when I first got my hands on my ViewQwest broadband bundle; after all it claimed a freaking speed of 2gbps per second! Sounds lightning fast!
I can’t speak the bandwidth, router and booster language so I’m going to give you the most layman tech review about my experience with ViewQwest.
Dealing with the ViewQwest technical guys was a breeze because I personally felt that the staff was really knowledgeable; I do appreciate someone who can give me answers (especially when it comes to the techy things!).
I am also very impressed with how ViewQwest provides 24 hours technical support over the phone! Although it is not often that we will run into some technical problems at 4am, it sure is comforting to know that the ViewQwest guys will be around to back you up in case of urgent internet-less moments.
Friends, this is 2gbps per second speed we are talking about. And to be honest, when I first tried loading a YouTube video once the connection is up, I was blown away. It was SO fast that I really couldn’t believe it! That was done in a room with good connection; where the router was placed. However, when testing the connection in our bedroom located at another level, it was considerably slower than what I first experienced when I’m standing right next to the router. The connection in the bedroom was still way faster than any other broadband I had used before though!
I am not sure whether there are boosters that can be added into our setup to allow the entire house access to the lightning speed of 2gbps (I’m pretty sure there’s some way to do it, but remember I am not the most tech savvy person ya) but I guess the speed and performance you can expect depends on the layout of your house, where you choose to place your router and other factors.
I’m currently 4 months into my ViewQwest experience and I have to say I am generally very happy with the performance so far. There has been zero (or close to zero) downtime, I don’t get logged out of the internet suddenly like how I used to experience with my previous Internet Service Provider, and the general speed and stability of the internet I get is pretty damn impressive.
UNLOCKING THE WORLD
Do you also hate going into a website to find out that the site is only limited to a certain region? Well, those days are over. This is what I am most excited about when I got my ViewQwest bundle. Besides broadband, the bundle also came with Freedom VPN! The VPN service is totally god-sent; Netflix and Hulu from USA, PPTV from China and many other entertainment sites that used to be limited are now free for us to explore and I really cannot be happier. I gotta say, I really love Freedom VPN! If you are a movie buff or drama addict, then the small fee to pay to get all the overseas streaming content you want is absolutely well worth it.
Now my Netflix + Fast food delivery Saturdays are finally legit!
This is another small gadget that will make a big difference to Saturday movie nights. Just like Apple TV, the Android ViewQwest TV is a little device that opens doors to shows from Netflix, PPTV, Hulu, Youku, LeTV and other popular sites! Set up was really simple because even a tech-idiot like me can cope with it. Haha! It also comes with a remote control (that has a trackpad!) for easy browsing from your comfy bed. :p
On the whole, I am very satisfied with the performance of my trusty ViewQwest set so far. I think with a good product like this, there is really nothing much to complain. One thing though, to make sure that you get the best out of this wonderful product, is to invest in good routers to fully maximize its capabilities!
And guess what? To kickstart 2016, ViewQwest is offering a New Year’s promo bundle. Sign up for any 2-year Fiber Broadband Plan with ViewQwest, and choose either a free Netgear R6220 router, or an ASUS RT-AC88U router with a $199 top up. This will ensure you get a good router to fully enjoy your ViewQwest experience.
Cheers to days of 2gbps!
We should all try to be unproductive every once in a while.
Pick up a paint brush or a calligraphy pen and draw or write something.
Listen to music. Listen beyond the voices and the lyrics. Listen to each and every instrument in the piece.
Listen to a good song.
Write a poem. Or a song that no one will ever get to hear.
Give your camera another chance and go out one afternoon just to take pictures of everything and nothing.
Sew something. Or perhaps knit.
Learn how to play a musical instrument, oh yes! Or a foreign language.
At times, when all I can do all day is look at Excel sheets, I really just want to be unproductive and listen to Aubrey by Bread all day.
Photo of our cat, Bobble Bun. Taken by A while she was being unproductive earlier tonight.
I have never thought that I would visit Estonia one day.
As much as I’m concerned, “Europe” to me was pretty much Paris, Italy, England and other more-touristy cities – places where a lot of my friends have been, and I know it would be relatively safe-ish if I head back to my apartment early. There are also lots of stories shared among my friends and relatives, so these countries are somewhat more familiar for me. Eastern Europe, on the other hand, gave me a very different impression compared to Western Europe. I always thought that Eastern Europe is poorer, more rundown, more backward and somewhat more dangerous. But in my recent visit to Tallinn in Estonia, I have totally changed my take on Eastern Europe. Tallinn has got to be one of the most beautiful, magical and enchanting cities I have ever been to. And one that I would visit again in a heartbeat, any time!
First and foremost, I am lucky to be able to stay in the heart of the city in Tallinn. My apartment is at Pikk Street which is right in the middle of all the action in Old Town. There are unless shops (both medieval and modern looking ones), restaurants, bars, souvenir stores and beautiful churches all around us. The entire city centre looked just like a theme park like Disneyland! I really couldn’t believe my eyes on the first day when I took a stroll around the city. It was really breathtakingly beautiful!
The city was full of vibrant colours, the people we met in and outside of the main touristy Old Town area all spoke good English. Getting around within the Old Town was easy because everything is easily accessible by foot. We were there in Spring so the weather was comfortably cool. Just talking about Tallinn now makes me want to go back there right away!
We had a great apartment host who was also a part-time tour guide around Tallinn. She took A and I around Old Town area and introduced the city to us in the short 40-mins tour. She said that Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, looked totally different a few decades ago because it only re-gained its independence from the communists in 1991. It was only in this recent 20 over years when the country grew and prosper rapidly. Now, the city is modern and advanced, and full of happy and friendly people who appeared to really love the Old Town and take pride in what they do. I saw some photographs of Tallinn in the 80s and it was really a far cry from what it is today. With that, I really respect the Estonians for what they have achieved!
As many of the buildings in Old Town was actually built in the Viking Ages, we also got the chance to see pretty little spaces like this one.
Other than the medieval Old Town and Raekoja Plats which is the old square in the area (by the way, this square transforms into the most beautiful Christmas markets during Christmas. So if you’re looking at visiting Tallinn around the festive seasons, don’t miss it!), there are a few other must-go sights which are just a short leisure stroll away and Toompea Hill is one of them. In there, you’ll be able to have better knowledge of city and its history. It is also an extremely picturesque place and, I believe, looks beautiful in different ways in the different seasons.
A kept saying she felt like she was in the set of King Arthur when we were there. Hahahaha! (But she’s right lah)
The view from the top of Toompea Hill was great too!
My favourite part of Old Town, however, is the colourful doors and pretty decorations on the window frames and doorways at every corner I turn. I guess the Estonians in Tallinn must be really happy, how can one ever get gloomy in such a beautiful town painted in pretty pastel hues?
I also spotted that they were selling me favourite soup. Haha!
As we were only staying in Tallinn for 3 days and we got in to the city in the afternoon on the first, we only had the opportunity to travel out of the Old Town for a day. We read about the Telliskivi District online and saw some really pretty pictures of the hippie cafes there so we decided to visit! Unfortunately, it was a little difficult to get there because we stupidly decided to walk. Haha! If you looked at the map, you would realise that it really isn’t that far. So if you’re going there, I’d suggest that you grab a taxi or something because it really isn’t too expensive. However, because of all the walking, we managed to look at more things and we even chanced upon a flea market at the main train station! That said, their flea market is really kind of different from what I had in mind though; theirs was a bit more like the thieves market we have in Singapore.
When we were in Old Town, we saw many groups of tourists being led around the area and I believe most of them are only in Tallinn for a day trip from Helsinki in Finland. So if you are in Tallinn and want to take a boat ride to Helsinki, I think it wouldn’t be too hard too.
Ok, as I was saying, Telliskivi gave us an insight about Tallinn – that Old Town is the only place in the whole of Tallinn that looks like it came out of a storybook! Heh.
Although the outside of Old Town is considerably more run-down and less cleaned-up, it is still very charming in its own way. Hippie mah! :p
And this is the place that you HAVE to visit if you are ever in Tallinn. F Hoone! The food here was mind-blowing and the prices are really, really reasonable! The food they serve over here are really interesting and nothing like what they serve on the other side of Europe. I love the dumplings and the soups they have here in Tallinn. F Hoone totally nailed their coffee as well!
We had plans to thoroughly visit the Kalamaja, which is a seaside district, one of the oldest suburbs in Tallinn but we didn’t get to see much because it was getting late by the time we were done with Telliskivi. Would definitely want to visit the Seaplane Harbour if I had the chance to. Oh! On a sidenote, we saw advertisement signs for a few Escape Rooms when we were in Kalamaja District. Like Singapore, I think they love their Escape Rooms too. Heh! :p
Tallinn was the first Eastern European city I visited and it really changed my impression about Eastern Europe; it’s too underrated and I think I would want to go back and explore more of Eastern Europe in future if I had the time. Everything is generally much affordable compared to the popular Western European cities, and there is also no branded label shops to steal the limelight away from honest stores who sells pretty hand knitted dolls and sweaters. I took a little part of Tallinn away with me, and it came in the shape of the gorgeous Tourmaline ring with beautiful carvings all around.
Ah. I really miss Tallinn.
It has been more than a month since I have been using Shell V-Power Nitro+ fuel
and all I can say is that it’s been such a breeze!
After one month of use, I’ve noticed that the drive has become significantly smoother and my car feels much stronger than before. The best thing is, the mileage has proven that the fuel lasts longer than before.
I used to be able to get about 330 to 340km per full tank (2litres).
Check out the results after using Shell V-Power Nitro+:
Knowing that Shell VPower Nitro+ is formulated with their strongest cleaning agent to-date to clean up our engines, I am sure the “mileage results” will only get better and better from here on as the performance improve along with cleaner engines.
It will soon be my younger brother’s wedding day in less than a week’s time and everyone at home
(i.e. my mom) has been busy for the last few weeks buying wedding stuff, distributing invitation cards,
calling and texting friends and relatives to inform everyone about the wedding party,
personally doing up the guest list and seating arrangements of the banquet, buying the strange items one
might need for a traditional Chinese customary ceremony, basically everything the couple does for a wedding, and amidst all that,
doing regular groom’s mom stuff like shopping for new dress and shoes.
It gives me mixed emotions when I see my mother like that.
As much as a wedding will soon be happening in the family, I can’t feel any happiness or thrill.
Instead, I am overwhelmed with frustration and disappointment thinking about how self centered my brother is, how he has done absolutely nothing to help my mother.
He is rude to my mother when my mother asks him for his opinion on things or ask him to help out.
He says that he is busy and does not want to be involved in the planning of the wedding,
or fork out a cent because this whole “banquet thing” was my parents’ idea, not his.
My mother asked him to shop for or order a hand bouquet for the bride on the wedding day,
and his excuse was he is too busy and has no time, plus, there is no need for a hand bouquet.
When requested by the bride’s side (that a hand bouquet is required), he told my mother to get it for him.
And when Mom said she is busy too, he threatened that he won’t go for the ceremony then.
“No flower, no groom”. His exact words.
My mother forwarded me the voice message she received from my brother.
The thought of him makes my blood boil. She is my mother too.
Why does he even deserve care and concern when he is not a single bit appreciative, is pompous and rude,
is so unbelievably self centered?
I am afraid of having children because of people like him.
At the same time, I hate it but I wish I was half as fortunate as him.
Because why is everyone fussing over his wedding even when the groom is not interested,
but not one family member has asked me how my wedding in America was like?
I am not complaining.
Because I know it is not easy.
We have never once tried to hide who I really am but I know it is still not easy for someone in my family to come up to me and ask me with glee how the ceremony in America was like.
Not even easy to talk about it.
How will it ever be easy?
I mean, sometimes when introducing A to strangers, I don’t even have the balls to say she is my girlfriend.
Or let alone now, my wife.
“My partner”, I would usually say; hiding behind the ambiguity of business partner / life partner.
How do I expect people to be brave when I am so timid myself?
But then again, I won’t know whether it is good to be too brave too,
because I don’t want to be “out and loud”, because behaving that way might make
some people uncomfortable or awkward. And because I care (very much) how people around me feel.
Am I such a shame?
Back here, people always ask heterosexual couples who have been dating for a while
“when they are getting married?”
But even when two persons of the same sex have been seeing each other for years,
they will always be introduced to relatives and friends of the family as, “good friends”.
There is no doubt that I am considered very fortunate compared to a lot of people like me.
At least my parents did not disown or forsake me, nor send me to a shrink or priest thinking I am sick.
I always like to think that our families have accepted us.
But deep down, I know that is not the entire truth;
I know it might still take a very long time for them to accept us, for us.
And that day might never come.
Every time this thought comes to mind, a part of me dies.
But I do not blame them. Not one single bit.
Because how can I ever blame them?
It is easy to have a gay neighbor, easy to make a new gay friend,
perhaps easy for some to realise that a brother is gay,
but how many parents can come to terms with a gay daughter or son?
I am not trying to be out and loud and proud, or a fierce activist of any sorts.
I am just a girl who looks forward to being married to someone I love.
I also dream of nice wedding dinners, spending a wonderful night celebrating with people who are happy to celebrate with me.
I am just trying to be myself.
A says that the world is so big.
We should not limit ourselves.
We might be nothing here, but one day, if we move to America, damn, we can buy a house together and it will be ours.
We can have a child and we will both be legal parents.
The world is how big you want it to be, and always just see the world as this small small Singapore world.
Why has this small world created so many small people?